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Osteoarthritis is a degenerative condition of the joints that occurs from normal wear-and-tear. It generally affects people over the age of 40, causing chronic pain, stiffness and immobility in joints of the ankles, knees, hips, fingers and other areas. Osteoarthritis problems often have their genesis earlier in life. You can avoid the pain of osteoarthritis with proper care of minor injuries when they occur.
What Happens in Osteoarthritis?
Osteoarthritis begins when the cartilage wears away and is no longer available to provide the cushioning for joint bones. The bones become gradually more misaligned, leading to poor function and increasing pain. Eventually, there is no cartilage at all, causing severe bone-on-bone pain. The cartilage damage may progress very slowly, with no symptoms at all at the onset and gradually worsening over time.
Causes of Osteoarthritis
Osteoarthritis is a common problem as people age. Those individuals that do repetitive movements of the joints during work or sports activities are susceptible to osteoarthritis. Women are more vulnerable to osteoarthritis, possibly because their frames are smaller and because of hormone changes during their lives.
People who are overweight are subject to more joint problems because the bones must work harder. Injuries of the joints can lead to osteoarthritis problems later in life. Deformities of the bone or cartilage can also contribute to the development of osteoarthritis.
You can prevent the risk of osteoarthritis by following a few tips to keep your joints in good condition as you age.
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