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All too many times overwhelmed caregivers are physically and emotionally depleted and need to take time to rest and care for themselves. Believing in a holistic approach to caregiver stress and a strong commitment to helping our members find the right solutions, we created this blog to help you connect with others who, like you, may be facing the same eldercare issues and challenges. Feel free to comment, ask questions, and submit articles. Please forward the blog link to your family and friends. They'll be glad you did.

Warm regards,

Patricia Grace
founder & CEO
Aging with Grace

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Can you avoid developing osteoarthritis?

Nearly 27 million Americans have osteoarthritis, the most common form of arthritis. And while some of the risk factors for this condition can't be changed — for example, your age, sex, and genetic makeup — you can control others.

Osteoarthritis Risk Factors:
  • Age - is the number one risk factor for getting osteoarthritis. Research shows that, in younger people, cartilage in joints is stimulated to grow thicker and stronger with use, but with age, that ability is lost. The tendons and muscles that support your joints also weaken with age, which increases wear and tear on the joints over time. Osteoarthritis is rarely diagnosed in people under the age of 40, and is commonly diagnosed in people over the age of 60.
  • Sex - if you are female, your chances of getting osteoarthritis are higher. Women are at higher risk for osteoarthritis in all joints, and this increased risk begins at around the age of 60. Researchers suspect this is partly due to the hormonal changes associated with menopause, though this risk factor is not yet completely understood.
  • Genes - you are born with are believed to play a significant role in hip and hand osteoarthritis, where heredity is involved in about 50 percent of osteoarthritis cases. Osteoarthritis of the knee is less often inherited, probably less than 30 percent of the time. People who are born with certain types of knee abnormalities, have a very high risk of getting osteoarthritis.
  • Researchers are studying biomarkers, substances in the blood of people with osteoarthritis that can be found on a blood test and serve as an early warning sign that the person may develop osteoarthritis. This way, you can work with your doctor to start treating your osteoarthritis at an earlier stage.
  • Weight - how much you weigh is the biggest controllable risk factor for osteoarthritis. "Being overweight makes joint pain of all sorts much harder to cope with and may aggravate wear in knee joints," warns Edwards. Carrying too much weight is generally worse for people with knee arthritis than with hip arthritis, and worse for women than for men. Being just 10 pounds overweight will increase the stress on your knees with every step you take. Women who are overweight have four times the risk of osteoarthritis as women who are of normal weight.
  • Damage - to the ligaments that support your joints causes the joints to be less protected from stress. A broken bone can change the structure of a joint and lead to abnormal stress. Someone who has already had a joint injury should avoid strain through strenuous exercise, which can further aggravate the problem. Certain diseases can cause joint damage that can increase the risk for osteoarthritis. These include joint infections, gout, rheumatoid arthritis, and Paget's disease.
Certain occupations or activities in which the joint is stressed repeatedly over a long time can also be risk factors for osteoarthritis. Farmers, for instance, have a high risk of hip osteoarthritis, while miners have a high risk of knee and spine osteoarthritis. A recent study also found that military personnel are at higher risk of osteoarthritis, especially those serving in the Army — who must meet high physical demands on a regular basis.

The bottom line: As with most diseases, prevention and early treatment offer the best chance of success against osteoarthritis. Get your weight down to a normal range through diet and exercises that are right for you.


  1. Of course all of us don't want to experience osteoarthritis when we get older, exercise plays an important in preventing such condition.

  2. This post gives the light in which we can observe the reality.This is very nice one and gives indepth information.Thanks for sharing this nice article.osteoarthritis treatment co


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