Osteoarthritis, also known as degenerative joint disease, is commonly caused due to wear and tear of cartilages present in the joints. It occurs mainly in older people, particularly in people over 50 years of age. Osteoarthritis usually targets weight bearing joints, such as the hip, knees, feet and spine.
One of the major causes of development of secondary osteoarthritis in younger people is repetitive and overuse of joints. Excessive exercise and repetitive motions damages the cartilage in the joints and thus increases the risk of developing osteoarthritis. Excess weight also increases the risk of developing osteoarthritis in the knees, and possibly in the knees and hips.
As we know osteoarthritis results from degeneration or loss of the cartilage that acts as cushion between the joints, particularly weight bearing joints such as knee joints and hip joints. Due to repetitive movements the cartilage degenerates and the bone rubbing against bone forms spurs, areas of abnormal harden, and fluid gets filled in marrows known as subchondral cysts. As the disorder progresses, pain increases as a result of deformation of the bones and fluid accumulation in the joints. The pain is relieved by rest and made worse by moving the joint or placing weight on it during exercises.
In the early stage of osteoarthritis the pain is minor and there is mild stiffness in the morning, but as the osteoarthritis progresses the patient may experience pain even when the joint is not being used repeatedly, and he or she may suffer permanent loss of the normal range of motion in that joints. Besides this, a significant injury to the joint, such as knee or hip joint, can later results in osteoarthritis. There are chances of getting injury from repeated use, overuse or misuse of such joints over a long period of time.
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