— Not an actual patient/physician

6 Things You May Not Know About Osteoarthritis

You may already have a basic understanding of osteoarthritis, but here are a few things you may not know.

Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis.2,3 So if you’re experiencing a sore joint, you’re not alone. There are many resources available to people struggling with this condition, one of which is the Arthritis Foundation’s website (www.arthritis.org).* They have a variety of tools and resources all geared toward people living with arthritis.

You may already have a basic understanding of osteoarthritis and how it affects you, but here are a few things you might not know:

  1. The Centers for Disease Control estimates that almost 27 million Americans over the age of 65 have osteoarthritis.2,3 But it’s not inevitable and there are things that you can do like controlling your weight, avoiding repetitive movement, and exercising that may mitigate your risk of developing osteoarthritis.1-2
  2. The knee and hip joints are most commonly affected by osteoarthritis.2
  3. Genetics may play a role in who develops osteoarthritis.2 Up to 35% of knee cases and 50% of hip cases may be attributed to genetics.2 Also, women over the age of 50 are more likely to develop osteoarthritis than men.2
  4. Early diagnosis is key.1,3 A simple X-ray or MRI can easily help your doctor to identify early signs of  cartilage deterioration or joint damage. So, don’t wait if you are experiencing severe joint pain. The sooner osteoarthritis is diagnosed, the sooner you can begin treatment. 

5. Exercise is reported to be a great way to help pain and slow progression.1,3 Ask your doctor what type of exercise might benefit your specific condition. If diagnosed with osteoarthritis, your doctor may recommend one of the following to ease your osteoarthritic pain:

  • Exercise
  • Over-the-counter medicine
  • Lose weight
  • Physical therapy
  • Non-surgical treatments such as injections
  • Surgery

6. We often joke about moving south to ease the pain in our achy joints. But unfortunately, moving to a warmer climate won’t cure your osteoarthritis.4  While many people believe that barometric pressure, changes in weather, rain, sunshine, or humidity cause a change in how their joint feels, there hasn’t been scientific proof to support that yet.5   

If you’re interested in more information about bone health, check out the next article below, Bone Health Basics. Also, your doctor can be a great resource for information on osteoarthritis and may have materials he can give you for additional review.

Zimmer Biomet is not affiliated with these websites and neither endorses or verifies the accuracy of the content thereon.

References
  1. Helmer, J. "Osteoarthritis: 7 Things You Need to Know." AARP Real Possibilities. https://www.aarp.org/health/conditions-treatments/info-09-2013/osteoarthritis-what-you-need-to-know.html?intcmp=AE-HEA-RELBOX
  2. Eustice, C. (2017, September 1). "10 Facts Most People Don’t Know About Osteoarthritis." Very Well Health.  https://www.verywellhealth.com/facts-about-osteoarthritis-2552107
  3. Eustice, C. (2018, September 28). "10 Important Facts About Osteoarthritis." Very Well Health. https://www.verywellhealth.com/understanding-osteoarthritis-190144
  4. 1 Body Staff. "7 Things You Didn’t Know About Arthritis." 1 Body. https://1bodybrand.com/blogs/1-body-blog/7-things-you-didn-t-know-about-arthritis
  5. Jena, Anupam B., et al. (2017, December). "Association between rainfall and diagnoses of joint or back pain: retrospective claims analysis." BMJ, 359:j5326. http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.j5326
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