WHAT IS OSTEOARTHRITIS?
Osteoarthritis is the destruction or damage of tissues of the joint due to excessive or abnormal loading of the joint. It is one of the most common causes of chronic disability in adults due to pain, limitation of motion, deformity, and instability of the joint.
HOW DOES OSTEOARTHRITIS DEVELOP?
Excessive or abnormal loading of the joint stimulates pro inflammatory factors and enzymesknown as proteases which bring about tissue destruction in the joint. Classic cellular inflammation such as seen in inflammatory arthritis like rheumatoid arthritis, is not seen in osteoarthritis. Sometimes osteoarthritis can occur following a traumatic injury such as aligament tear, with subsequent progression to post traumatic osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis does not progress at a similar rate in all individuals and not everyone with early osteoarthritis develops severe osteoarthritis. Multiple risk factors are associated with the development of osteoarthritis including aging, joint injury, obesity, genetics, predisposing anatomic factors e.g., congenital hip dysplasia, and sex e.g., OA of hands and knees are more prevalent in women, while OA of hips are equally prevalent in men and women.
“WHY” IS THIS IMPORTANT FOR YOU?
Weight management and exercise are non-pharmacological means of managing osteoarthritis as the primary aim of management is to target modifiable risk factors. If you think or know that you struggle with osteoarthritis, be sure to speak with your health care provider so they can do an assessment and advise you accordingly.