How Common Is Osteoarthritis?

Osteoarthritis is when the body’s joints are damaged, which results in the person not being able to move freely. It is quite common around the world, but people tend to ignore the extreme joint pains caused by this condition as general arthritis. Typically, osteoarthritis occurs in individuals who are in their late 40s.

In the United Kingdom, there are around 2 million people who go to their doctor because of osteoarthritis. According to statistics, about 33% of people with this condition are at least 45 years old. Women are more prone to osteoarthritis as 49% of patients are female. In the US, it is estimated that there are 27 million Americans suffering from this condition.

Causes of Osteoarthritis

There are some factors that may affect the chances of you getting this condition, which include the following:

Age – The older you are, the higher the possibility that you will acquire osteoarthritis. This is because as you age, the joints are more prone to wear and tear and they will find it difficult to get back in shape. Additionally, the older you are, the more you have used your joints. The good news is that not everyone can develop this condition. Therefore, even if you have reached a certain age, it does not mean that this is an inevitable part of growing old.

Body weight – Those who are obese are more likely to have osteoarthritis when they age. This is because of their increased body weight, resulting to more stress on the body’s lower joints. As age may not be a completely proven factor, obesity is, especially when it comes to your knees. Every pound is equivalent to four pounds of pressure, particularly on your knees. There is even more pressure on your hips as one pound is equal to 6 times more burden on this part of the body.

Injury – If you have ever been injured before, such as tissue injuries, this may eventually lead to osteoarthritis when you age. Athletes who use their joints repetitively have higher risk in developing this condition. The same thing goes to people who use their body joints constantly in their jobs, such as in typing, landscaping, and others.

Genetics – This plays a huge role in the occurrence of osteoarthritis. If any member of your family has this condition, you are at a high risk in developing this as well, especially in the hands. This is also quite common in people who are double-jointed or bowlegged. If you do have these traits, you should not jump into conclusion that you will develop this condition. It will help if you consult with your doctor in case there are signs and symptoms of this type of arthritis.

The sad fact about osteoarthritis is that this has no cure. It is still not understood by medical experts completely despite its prevalence.