In a recent report, it was found that male athletes are at a higher risk of having to deal with arthritis of the knees and hips as opposed to women who generally engage in less physical or strenuous activity. So it’s pretty clear that there can be more behind the causes of osteoarthritis (OA) than simply getting older.
OA is probably the most common form of arthritis these days, and is usually classified into two types: Primary or Secondary. Unfortunately, since there is no cure for this condition, the treatment administered can only control the symptoms that include pain, limited movement and stiffness in the joints.
But before we delve further into the causes of Osteoarthritis, let’s first understand what makes OA so difficult to deal with.
Osteoarthritis & its Types
To put it simply, osteoarthritis is the medical term for the condition where the cartilage suffers progressive damage, and in most cases, affects the weight-bearing joints such as the knees, hips, hands, spine among other smaller joints such as fingers etc.
So while people without arthritis can move their body parts normally as designed by nature, a patient with osteoarthritis would struggle to do the same, accompanied by pain and stiffness.
Now this inability to move your body parts happens to patients that are diagnosed with primary or secondary OA. Probably, the only difference between these two conditions is the reasons why cartilage breakdown occurs in either of these cases, and which is probably useful information when doctors have to carry out a diagnosis.
Causes of Osteoarthritis
Probably the reason why osteoarthritis has been classified into these two types is because of the information it offers in the form of risk factors. Meaning to say, that if you knew what the risks were (leading an inactive lifestyle is the biggest of them all), one could easily reduce their chances of having to suffer with this condition.
The first type, primary OA (or wear & tear OA) occurs due to aging. According to experts, primary OA is the most commonly diagnosed type of OA. Since most people get primary OA around the ages of 55 to 60, the reason why this degeneration in the cartilage occurs is due to “prolonged use” of the joints.
And that’s not all – experts also say that none of us are immune to primary OA, as we will have to deal with it the longer we live – varying from mild to severe symptoms.
On the other hand, secondary osteoarthritis occurs for reasons other than aging and they are:
- Trauma or overuse
- Diseases that cause inflammation
Of course, the treatment for both types is the same and most doctors consider this classification for their own use. Sadly, since there is no cure yet, the objective of the treatment is to reduce pain, decrease stiffness and increase movement in the affected joints through exercise, physical therapy, medication, weight control, joint protection techniques, surgery and alternative treatment.
Living a non-sedentary lifestyle is probably the best way by which you can avoid OA – but isn’t it the best way to avoid so many other conditions and diseases as well?
And as with all conditions, it’s usually best to begin treatment with the least invasive options available, which is where Dr. Mohr, your Tampa chiropractor, can help by walking you through a consultation to address your symptoms and give you different treatment options that could help you avoid surgery, medications, and other more invasive techniques aimed at the symptoms rather than the root causes of osteoarthritis.