Osteoarthritis is one form of arthritis condition which is characterized by gradual loss or breakdown of cartilage associated with the joints. The causes for osteoarthritis are not exactly determined although there are certain risk factors that are responsible for the development of osteoarthritis.
In normal life as well, the damage to the joints will be continuous and the intensity of every small damage will be lower. In several cases the body itself will repair the injury or damage that is caused. The repair work also will not show any symptoms. There are several types of arthritis in which osteoarthritis is common. In United States, the statistics has evaluated that Osteoarthritis affected nearly 25 million people.
As age advances, osteoarthritis is seen more commonly and frequently. This condition is frequent in males below the age of 45years and in females below the age of 55years. It is estimated that almost all the races in United States are disturbed by osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis usually upsets the spine, joints, feet, hands, knees and hip joints. If the cause of osteoarthritis is not understood, then the condition is considered as primary osteoarthritis. If the cause is known then it is referred to as secondary osteoarthritis.
Causes Of Osteoarthritis
The primary osteoarthritis is generally considered to appear due to aging. As the person ages, the cartilage water content increases and the protein content of the cartilage diminishes. Gradually, the cartilage will degenerate. In the advanced stage, the cartilage is worn out and results in swelling and pain in the joints as time passes due to the rupture of bones in the joint.
Osteoarthritis develops if the joint is damaged by an injury or surgery. If the joint is used extensively even if there is no time for healing after the damage or injury has occurred, then it might lead to osteoarthritis in future.
If the joints are injured or damaged extensively by the conditions like rheumatoid arthritis or gout then it might result in osteoarthritis. The secondary osteoarthritis will be developed a long time after the primary joint damage has occurred.
As the age advances, the risk factors for osteoarthritis will develop gradually due to the weakness in the joints and muscles that were worn out.
In some instances, it is found that osteoarthritis will run in the families. There were studies done regarding the genetics associated with osteoarthritis which reveal that no single gene is involved in causing this condition. But, many genes are likely to be associated here.
The research done on exploring the causes of osteoarthritis has revealed that overweight or obesity creates lot of strain on the joints.
Particular joints that bear the weight of the person include hips and knees. Therefore, it is believed that osteoarthritis will develop faster in obese people.
The deposits of crystals in the cartilage will cause degeneration of cartilage and further can lead to osteoarthritis. Gout results from arthritis which is caused due to the deposition of Uric acid crystals. Pseudo Gout results from arthritis which is caused by deposition of calcium pyrophosphate crystals.
Diabetes and disorders associated with growth hormone are found to be involved in worn out cartilage and in secondary osteoarthritis.