The human body undergoes a lot of changes as we grow older. These changes occur due to the wear and tear of the body on a daily basis. At times, the wear and tear worsen to such an extent that people actually start suffering from certain disorders. One such disorder that affects more than half of the population is osteoarthritis.
Osteoarthritis is one of the most common forms of arthritis that affects the elderly population and at times, the younger lot as well under certain circumstances. This condition is characterized by the wearing out of the protective cartilage on the end of the bones. Osteoarthritis is often referred to as a degenerative joint disorder since mostly affects the joints in the hands, knees, spine, and hips. Unlike the other forms of arthritis, lupus or rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis doesn’t affect the other organs of the body.
Causes of osteoarthritis
- Family history
Studies have indicated that if an individual has a family history of osteoarthritis, there are high chances that he is susceptible to it as well. This holds true if the person comes from a family that has a history of genetic joint defects.
Irrespective of what an individual wishes to believe, the gender plays a major role in making a person vulnerable to diseases. There are certain disorders which women are more susceptible to, and osteoarthritis is one of them. It has been observed that women develop the progressive symptoms of osteoarthritis more than men.
One can assert that age is one of the prime causes of osteoarthritis. The progressive joint disorder is connected to the wear and tear our body has gone through. However, even members of the younger lot display certain signs that are indicative of the presence of osteoarthritis.
Being overweight has been identified as the cause of an array of health issues, including osteoarthritis. Excess body weight exerts more pressure on the joints, especially the knees, hips, and the back. Our bones cannot bear the excess weight, and this causes the bones to wear out sooner than later.
Symptoms of osteoarthritis
It is common knowledge that before an ailment strikes, our body starts displaying symptoms of the same. You can think of these symptoms of osteoarthritis as warning signs, and getting immediate medical attention can prove conducive to deal with the disorder. A person experiencing the onset of osteoarthritis displays the following symptoms.
One of the symptoms of osteoarthritis is experiencing pain while moving around. Since osteoarthritis affects the joints, moving around can be quite difficult and can cause excruciating pain in severe cases.
Stiffness in the joints is another symptom of osteoarthritis. The individual might experience stiffness in the joints, which, in turn, would restrict his movement. This stiffness of joints is more prominent, especially in the mornings.
Whenever you apply pressure to your joints, the joint might feel tender. Tenderness of the joints is another glaring symptom of osteoarthritis.
- Grating sensation
Have you ever heard a slight crack when you move your knee? This is osteoarthritis weakening your joints. You might hear or feel a grating sensation when there is a movement in the joints..
- Loss of flexibility
Osteoarthritis causes stiffness in the joints, which restricts the movement. Over the period of time, the individual would experience loss of flexibility in the joints.