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Start Your Knee Pain Relief with Osteoarthritis Treatment
Over 100 million people in America suffer from knee and joint pain. A major cause of knee pain is osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis (OA), also known as degenerative joint disease or wear-and-tear arthritis, is the most common form of arthritis. Healthy knees are naturally filled with Synovial fluid that helps lubricate and provide cushioning. With osteoarthritis the cartilage that covers ends of bones at joints breaks down, and the amount of synovial fluid is diminished and the joint space becomes more compressed. This causes the bones to rub together resulting in pain, swelling, and loss of motion of the joint. OA can affect any joint in your body but often occurs in knees.
Is OA Preventable?
For years experts thought that if you were predisposed to OA it was unavoidable, however taking preventative action may help to delay or lessen the risk of OA. Maintaining a healthy weight is one of the most effective ways to lower the risk of OA. Excess body weight added to your joints can hasten the disease process, and fat tissue itself can promote inflammation throughout your body. Losing even just a little weight can dramatically reduce the risk of OA. Regulating your blood sugar also helps to lower the risk of OA. Higher glucose levels accelerate the formation of molecules that make cartilage stiffer and more sensitive to mechanical stress. This makes cartilage more susceptible to wear and tear, which can exacerbate OA. Another way to prevent OA is by taking precautions when playing sports or working out. Wearing protective gear, taking breaks, stretching beforehand, and making sure you fully heal from an injury can help dramatically reduce osteoarthritis from becoming an issue. While genetics and predisposition do play a role, maintaining a healthy lifestyle can have a tremendous impact on your overall health as well as the health of your joints.
Who Does OA Affect?
Though it is most common in adults over the age of 65, osteoarthritis can affect people of all ages. Besides age, some common risk factors include:
- Joint injuries
- Certain occupations
- Bone deformities
Women who have been through menopause are at a higher risk of OA because the amount of estrogen the body produces declines. Estrogen plays an important role in promoting bone growth. Those with sports injuries, even if they happened a long time ago are also at an increased risk. People that work in occupations requiring repetitive motions or that are demanding physically experience a higher risk as well.