Under normal circumstances, in a healthy body when the joints get exposed to low levels of injury, the body comes to its rescue and repairs the damage. The normal repair process occurs unnoticed without us experiencing any adverse symptoms.Osteoarthritis is the clinical implication that is the result of damages caused to the joints or to parts around it that the body repair system fails to heal.
These damages might include injury to the tendons or ligaments of the joint, swelling of the joint or an injury within the bone or damage to the cartilage Thus in Osteoarthritis the symptoms are very much expressed as even the smallest of injury fails to get repaired by the body.The symptoms which get expressed in Osteoarthritis are as follows-Firstly, bony lumps called Osteophytes are formed at the region of injury or damage in the joints. The joints become fragile and the bones get protruded. With the thickening and broadening of the bones the joints become stiff and painful when moved. In many cases fluid accumulation occurs in and around the joints resulting in the swelling of the joints.
What Are The Causes Of Osteoarthritis?
There are a number of reasons that might lead to Osteoarthritis and by understanding the causes of osteoarthritis we will be able to find respective treatments.
Severe Injury To The Joints
One of the root causes of Osteoarthritis is damage or injury caused to the joints or ligaments in and around the joints. These traumatic causes can be again differentiated into macro-trauma and micro-traumatic causes. Macro-trauma might be caused as a result of a fracture or bone break or even when bones fail to line up properly.
Micro-trauma is a chronicle disease that is caused by the overuse of the already damaged joints that did not get adequate time to heal after an operation or injury, which will lead to the cause of Osteoarthritis.This can pertain to as an occupational hazard and as such athletes or daily labors, who have to lift heavy weights are seen suffering from the symptoms of this particular bone problem.
Rheumatoid Arthritis is caused by the improper functioning of the body’s immune system. It has been seen that joints which have got damaged by Rheumatoid Arthritis but did not heal resulted in Osteoarthritis. This type of arthritis caused due to damage or existing clinical conditions of the bones or ligaments is called as secondary Osteoarthritis. These conditions might develop much after the initial injury caused to the joints.
While genetic tests are yet to identify the hereditary base of Osteoarthritis, clinical surveys have however ascertained the fact that the occurrence of Osteoarthritis is much more frequent in members of a family that have a past history of Osteoarthritis. Therefore there are chances that Osteoarthritis is a genetic disorder that gets passed on from one generation to the other.
Obesity is considered to be one of the main causes for Osteoarthritis. Excess weight puts strain on the joints. The joints of the knee and hip bones are the most effected as they have to bear most of the weight of the body. Along with other clinical ailments like blood sugar, pressure etc and deficit immune system, Obesity becomes the root cause of Osteoarthritis.
Malfunctioning Of The Endocrine Glands
An extended implication of obesity, diabetic people are known to be prone to osteoarthritis. While the exact relationship of the endocrine gland functions and its affect in maintaining the joints is yet to be ascertained but medical research has shown that endocrine related medical symptoms like hypothyroidism, hyperparathyroidism, acromegaly and of course obesity are somewhere or the others responsible for intensifying the symptoms for Osteoarthritis.
In some cases disorders caused by metabolic malfunctioning results in Osteoarthritis. For example in Paget’s disease the normal remodeling process of the bone gets hampered in which patients suffer from excessive amounts of bone resorption and still higher amounts of new bone formation. This faulty remodeling produces new bones which are weak and are exposed to the symptoms of Osteoarthritis. Similarly Wilson’s disease which is another metabolic disorder also causes Osteoarthritis.
Genetically caused bone abnormalities like crooked arms and legs, bent fingers, unequal legs are some of the reasons which can further develop in to Osteoarthritis.Genetic defects causing anatomical abnormalities like in case of Ehlers Danlos Syndromes, where the degradation of the protective construction of the cartilage gets promoted and results in the formation of weak bones and collagen disturbances. This can again lead to the cause of the symptoms of Osteoarthritis.
Certain nutritional deficiencies are a contributor to Osteoarthritis. Vitamin c, Vitamin D and anti oxidant deficit results in the fastening of bone degradation causing Osteoarthritis. Clinical tests have proved that people given Vitamin C supplements showed lesser risk of developing Osteoarthritis than those who were deficit in the essential nutrient.Calcium is a common nutritional mineral that is essential for the growth and development of the bones. Deficiency in calcium along with that of phosphorus is known to increase the chances of Osteoarthritis.
Aging As A Cause Of Osteoarthritis
In old age, cartilage degeneration associated with osteoarthritis might be the result of the loss of viable cells or chondrocytes because of apoptosis; a natural process of self-destruction in certain cells as it grows old or other cell systems. With the chondrocytes and the matrixes of the bone cartilage getting older, the tissue starts to age, exposing it to the process of bone degeneration.With age, there is an increase in the water content of the cartilage while the protein content of the same starts to degenerate.
This weakens the strength of the bones and clinical tests have confirmed that the collagen content in the cartilage decreases with age and this may be one of the main reasons why seventy percent of the people above the age group of seventy develop symptoms of osteoarthritis.Once we know what the causes of Osteoarthritis are, it would stand easier to look for remedies with respect to the symptoms.
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