Osteoarthritis Alert: Know Your Risks to Safeguard Your Joints
December, 06 2023 • 5 min read
There are several risk factors for osteoarthritis which, upon recognition in early stages, help prevent and delay the disease progression. Although not all factors are preventable, like age, gender, and heredity, most factors can be identified and avoided for better joint health. These factors include occupational risks, intense exercise, obesity, joint injury, nutritional deficiencies, and high blood glucose levels. By minimizing or avoiding these risk factors in routine life, seniors can effectively prevent the development and progression of osteoarthritis1 in earlier stages leading to a better quality of life.
Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most prevalent form of arthritis in seniors. It is often referred to as degenerative joint disease or wear-and-tear arthritis. In OA, the protective cartilage2 in your joints breaks down. This cartilage acts as a cushion between bones. When a significant amount of cartilage wears away, the bones rub against each other. The changes that occur in the joint due to OA result in pain, stiffness, and difficulty moving.
At AGEasy by Antara, we believe that knowledge is the key to a life well-lived, especially when it comes to preserving the health of our precious joints. Our mission is clear: to empower seniors with the invaluable understanding of Joint health. Your journey to empowered joint health starts now, and we're here to provide you with the tools you need to make informed choices for a brighter, more mobile future.
Osteoarthritis occurs due to the frequent use of your joints over time. As you age, your joints are susceptible to more wear and tear. While it's difficult to prevent OA completely, you can take steps to reduce the daily stress on your joints. Doing so can decrease the likelihood of developing or worsening OA. Taking good care of yourself is essential in preventing joint issues.
What are some common risk factors for knee osteoarthritis?
They are mainly categorized into two buckets, non-modifiable and modifiable risk factors. Non-modifiable risk factors are the ones you cannot avoid while modifiable risk factors are avoidable and manageable.
Non-modifiable risk factors
- Age, gender: The likelihood of developing osteoarthritis (OA) increases with age as joint cartilage breaks down. Women who have undergone menopause are at a higher risk of developing OA because their bodies produce less estrogen, which plays a role in bone growth.
- Genetics and Family History: Genetics significantly influence osteoarthritis susceptibility, with a family history of the condition increasing the likelihood of its development. Specific genetic factors impact cartilage structure and repair, affecting its resilience against wear and tear. While genetic makeup cannot be changed, understanding familial risk can prompt early interventions and lifestyle adjustments to minimize the impact of other modifiable risk factors, fostering improved joint health.
In the realm of joint health management, food based supplements and functional foods with potential health benefits, have gained attention for their ability to support joint health. Certain nutraceuticals, such as glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate, have shown promise in promoting cartilage health and reducing inflammation associated with osteoarthritis. These supplements can complement a balanced diet and provide the necessary building blocks for cartilage repair, thereby addressing some of the risk factors influenced by genetics.
Modifiable risk factors
- Occupational risks: Occupations that require repetitive movements can put a strain on your joints. Jobs involving frequent activities such as kneeling, lifting, twisting, and walking may increase the risk of developing osteoarthritis (OA). It is advisable to consult with your doctor to understand ways to minimize the impact of these activities on your joints and seek guidance on appropriate measures to take.
- Exercise: Putting excess strain on your joints during workouts makes them more susceptible to osteoarthritis if they have weak muscles. Hence, it is advised to perform low-intensity exercises to avoid premature osteoarthritis.
- Obesity/overweight: Excess weight is a significant risk factor for osteoarthritis because it places additional stress on the joints, accelerating the deterioration of joint cartilage. Individuals who are overweight or obese are particularly vulnerable to developing OA. Losing weight can be beneficial in reducing pain and improving symptoms associated with OA.
- Joint injury or surgery: Injuries to bones, cartilage, or ligaments can contribute to the development of osteoarthritis (OA), even if the condition does not manifest until several years later. Additionally, surgical procedures performed on a joint can cause damage to its structures, increasing the risk of developing OA in the affected area.
- Deficiency of essential nutrients: Having unhealthy diet habits or a nutrient deficit diet can increase the risk of developing osteoarthritis. The routine diet should include several nutrients essential to maintaining healthy joint and bone health to minimize the risk of developing osteoarthritis. These nutrients are nowadays available in the market as nutraceutical supplements. Variety of multivitamin supplements, collagen and turmeric powders, tablets and capsules are available for effective management of the condition.
- Higher blood sugar levels: Elevated glucose levels may promote the production of molecules that cause stiffness in cartilage, while diabetes may trigger inflammation that increases cartilage loss. Managing diabetes and regulating blood glucose levels plays a crucial role in preventing the development or progression of osteoarthritis.
It is necessary to identify these risk factors in earlier stages of osteoarthritis for effective prevention. Once identified, contact your physician to learn about the most specific and personalized ways of mitigating these risk factors.
To better manage the risk factors in earlier stages of the disease you may opt for Antara’s wide range of food based products that completely natural and scientifically backed for effective management of osteoarthritis. Call us at +919911789911 for more information around the products we offer.
- Progression of osteoarthritis: Worsening of the disease
- Cartilage: A smooth and flexible tissue that cushions and protects the ends of bones in joints