Osteoarthritis – More Than Just Getting Old

You may think that osteoarthritis is only something that affects women as they age, but that is not always the case. In fact, studies have found that male athletes are at a higher risk of having to deal with arthritis of the knees and hips than women who generally engage in less physical or strenuous activity. So contrary to popular belief, osteoarthritis can affect men as well as women, and there are many more causes other than simply getting older.

Osteoarthritis (OA) is probably the most common form of arthritis these days, and it is usually put into two categories: Primary or Secondary. Unfortunately, since there is no cure for this condition, the treatment administered can only control the symptoms, which include pain, limited movement, and stiffness in the joints. But before we delve further into the causes of OA, let’s first understand what makes OA so difficult to deal with.

Types of Osteoarthritis

To put it simply, osteoarthritis is the medical term for a condition where the cartilage suffers progressive damage, and in most cases, affects the weight-bearing joints, such as the knees, hips, hands, and spine. 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, and movements would often be accompanied by pain and stiffness.

Now this inability to move certain body parts happens to patients that are diagnosed with primary or secondary OA. The only key difference between the two categories of OA is the reason behind why cartilage breakdown occurs.

Causes of Osteoarthritis

Knowing what puts you at risk for developing OA is important, because there are preventative measures that you can take to reduce your 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, it is believed that prolonged use of the joints is the reason why this type of cartilage degeneration occurs. Experts also say that none of us are immune to primary OA, as we all become at risk as we age.

On the other hand, secondary osteoarthritis occurs for reasons other than aging. Some of these reasons are —

  1. Inactivity
  2. Trauma or overuse
  3. Hereditary
  4. Obesity
  5. 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 treatments.

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, he can help you to avoid surgery, medications, and other more invasive techniques aimed at covering up the symptoms rather than getting to the root cause of your osteoarthritis.

If you are interested insetting up a consultation to discuss your osteoarthritis symptoms, please call our office or schedule your appointment here.