World Arthritis Day: Age to obesity, know 5 risk factors of the joint disease

On World Arthritis Day, we're discussing the causes and symptoms of arthritis. To find out whether you are at risk of developing it or not.
Arthritis pain in monsoon
Don't stop exercising due to arthritis. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
Aayushi Gupta Updated: 23 Oct 2023, 11:39 am IST
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You must have witnessed your grandmother or mother experiencing arthritis discomfort. That’s why, you know how painful it can be. It is believed that arthritis only affects elderly people because it is a result of ageing. But is it true, and is that the only cause of arthritis? Well, no! Joint pain can be due to many different reasons and can be found in youngsters as well. The risky aspect of arthritis is that you may experience symptoms and yet be unaware of them until you suffer a fracture. You should therefore be very careful of causes and symptoms of arthritis.

According to experts, arthritis makes your bones weak and brittle, rendering them vulnerable to fractures even in the event of a little stressor such as coughing or bending over. That’s why you should figure out your risk.

What is arthritis?

There are generally two types of arthritis; osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.

1. Osteoarthritis: The most prevalent type of arthritis, osteoarthritis, is marked by the thinning down of the cartilage that covers the bones in your joints. It results from mechanical damage to joints.

symptoms of arthritis
Prevention is the first step towards cure. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

2. Rheumatoid arthritis: Rheumatoid arthritis is an auto-immune disease that mostly affects the joints and bones, according to The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Because your immune system is attacking healthy cells in your body, auto-immune illnesses essentially cause swelling and inflammation.

Knees, wrists, hips, and spines are the joints most commonly affected by arthritis.

On World Arthritis Day, HealthShots spoke to Dr Rakesh Nair, consultant knee replacement surgeon at Zen Multispeciality Hospital, Chembur, to find out how to recognize if you’re at the risk of developing arthritis or not.

Here are 5 risk factors or causes of arthritis, according to Dr Nair:

1. Family background

There are various factors that could put you at risk of developing arthritis over time. The most important one is family background. If your parents or siblings have arthritis, you may be more likely to have it yourself as some kinds of arthritis run in families.

Also, read: Youngsters are also at a risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis. 7 signs to watch out

2. Age

Another factor that could cause arthritis is ageing. Age raises the likelihood of developing several forms of arthritis, such as osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and gout.

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symptoms of arthritis
Ageing can cause joint pain. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

3. Gender

Sometimes your gender could play a role. Rheumatoid arthritis, which is more common in women than in men, but gout – which is another kind of arthritis, is more common in males.

4. Old injuries

There are also cases of prior joint damage where people are more prone to later develop arthritis in a joint that has been damaged, possibly while participating in sports.

Also, read: 10 things you shouldn’t do if you have arthritis

5. Obesity

Studies have also shown that obesity is also a contributing factor to developing arthritis in the future. Your knees, hips, and spine are particularly strained when you carry extra weight. Those who are obese are more likely to get arthritis.

symptoms of arthritis
Being overweight may put you at risk of several health issues. Image Courtesy: Shutterstock

Watch out these symptoms of the arthritis to know whether you have it or not:

The joints are where arthritis is most frequently seen. So, the signs and symptoms of various types of arthritis may include:

  • Joint pain, stiffness, and tenderness
  • Swelling around and in the joints
  • Joint mobility that is limited
  • Red skin in injured joint
  • Warmth and softness around the joint
  • Atrophy of muscle and frailty

Here’s when you should see the doctor

If you’re experiencing above mentioned symptoms of arthritis together with pain in your joints, you should consult with your doctor about treatment. Neglecting the signs can result in even more complications in future or decreased range of motion in your joints.

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About the Author

Aayushi Gupta is a health writer with a special interest in trends related to diet, fitness, beauty and intimate health. With around 2 years of experience in the wellness industry, she is connected to leading experts and doctors to provide our readers with factually correct information. ...Read More

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