• Age — the incidence increases with age
• Gender — women are afflicted more than men after age 45
• Continued overuse of or trauma to joints
• Overweight and obesity
• Fractures and other joint injuries or infections
• Congenital defect or weakness in a joint
• Occupations that include tasks that place repetitive stress on a particular joint
• Other types of arthritis, such as gout and rheumatoid arthritis
• A genetic defect in joint cartilage
A weighty situation
|Being overweight or obese increases a person’s risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease and stroke, some types of cancer, sleep apnea, metabolic syndrome and gallbladder and fatty liver disease. Add osteoarthritis to the list.
Excessive weight overly stresses weight bearing joints, such as the hips and knees, causing the cartilage to break down. Weight loss of at least 5 percent of body weight may decrease stress on knees, hips and lower back and improve symptoms.
|In addition to weight loss, many treatments are available
for people with osteoarthritis.
|A landmark study funded by the National Institutes of Health found that acupuncture can provide pain relief and improve function for some people with OA of the knee. Acupuncture can serve as an effective complement to standard care. Talk to your health care provider if considering adding acupuncture to your treatment regimen.