Osteoarthritis, otherwise known as degenerative joint disease, is the most common type of arthritis. It most commonly occurs in the weight bearing joints of the hips, knees, and spine. However, it can also disturb the fingers, thumb, neck, and large toe.
Osteoarthritis tends to affect women more often than men. Most people that are 60 years or older have osteoarthritis to a varying degree. However, it has been diagnosed in individuals in their 20's and 30's, as well.
Symptoms often develop gradually and include:
- Joint aching and soreness.
- Pain after overuse or after long periods of inactivity.
- Bony enlargements in the middle and end joints of the fingers - which may or may not be painful.
- Joint swelling and fluid accumulation.
An individual’s chances of developing osteoarthritis are based on several factors including:
- Heredity - People born with joint abnormalities are more likely to develop osteoarthritis. Similarly, those born with an abnormality of the spine - such as scoliosis - are more likely to develop osteoarthritis, as well.
- Obesity - Obesity increases the risk for osteoarthritis of the knee and hip.
- Injury - Injuries can be linked to the development of osteoarthritis. For instance, athletes who have knee-related injuries may be at higher risk of developing osteoarthritis of the knee.
- Joint Overuse - Overuse of certain joints increases the risk of developing osteoarthritis. Such as individuals whose jobs require a repetitious bending motion are at increased risk for developing osteoarthritis of the knee.
If you’re suffering with osteoarthritis, please visit your doctor to see what treatment options are available for you.