There are many risk factors that can contribute to a person being diagnosed with arthritis, although the exact cause remains unknown. Arthritis is a condition of the joints, where the cartilage wears away, leaving bones rubbing against each other, this causes pain, swelling and stiffness.
Age is the biggest contributing factor as to the cause of arthritis. Simply using our joints over a long period of time will cause some deterioration of the joints, in particular in the knee, back and fingers. The more we use our joints, the easier they deteriorate. That is why many athletes will find themselves with arthritis later on in life. Obesity or being overweight is another factor. For every pound overweight a person is, another 16 pounds of pressure is put on their joints. Excess pressure over a prolonged period of time results in erosion of the cartilage. Keeping one’s weight in a healthy range will help prevent this from being a risk factor for arthritis.
Another common cause of arthritis is repetitive actions, usually in the workplace. Athletes also perform many repetitive actions . Typing, operating machinery, pitching, and kneading dough are all instances where repetitive actions are performed and the onset of arthritis may result. Often, occupational therapy may be able to suggest alternative ways of achieving the same goal, and alleviating arthritic pain.
Genetics also plays a role in causing arthritis. A family history of arthritis may make a person predisposed to acquiring the disease. Certain bone or joint abnormalities, such as being bowlegged, may be passed down generationally, and the abnormalities may cause arthritis. Diabetes is another condition that can lead to arthritis.
Infectional Arthritis is a type of arthritis that has it’s own causes. In Infectional Arthritis, a bacterial, fungal or viral infection enters the body and attacks the joints. This causes the joints to get swollen, and is very painful.
Gout is another type of arthritis with different causes. Abuse of alcohol, kidney disease, hypertension, a poor diet, and obesity are all causes of Gout.
Overall, there are many causes of arthritis, but maintaining a healthy lifestyle and weight can help in minimizing the effects of this disease.
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