Osteoarthritis is Now a Global Health Concern, Here’s Why

Osteoarthritis, which is the most common type of arthritis, has unfortunately become one of the major health concerns across the world. Also known as a degenerative joint disease (DJD), Osteoarthritis is a chronic joint illness that causes pain, disability, and loss of function. Shockingly, osteoarthritis, which was usually found in older people, is now being diagnosed in teenagers, and people in their 20s, and 30s.

According to a study published in ‘Arthritis & Rheumatology’, an official journal of the American College of Rheumatology, prevalent cases of osteoarthritis have gone up by 113.25 per cent from 247.51 million in 1990 to 527.81 million in 2019, across the globe.

What is Osteoarthritis?

In osteoarthritis, cartilage, which is the protective tissue covering the ends of the bones, breaks down, and this results in the bones within the joint to rub together. This rubbing can cause pain, stiffness, and other symptoms. The condition can occur in any joint but the most commonly affected areas of the body are the finger, hands, shoulder, spine, neck, lower back, knees, and hips. Symptoms of osteoarthritis often develop slowly and worsen over time. Let’s take a look at the signs and symptoms of osteoarthritis:

  • Pain in the affected joints, during or after the movement.
  • Swelling around the joints.
  • Might not be able to move your joint with full flexibility and motion.
  • Might experience joint stiffness.
  • Person may feel a grating sensation while using a joint, might also hear a crackling or popping sound.
  • Joint might feel tender when applied light pressure
  • Hard lumps can form around the affected joint.
  • By now it is clear that old age is the main cause behind this condition but some other causes can result in this chronic joint disease, like poor posture, past injury (such as torn cartilage, dislocated joints, or ligament injuries), obesity, joint malformation. This is not all. Certain factors increase the risk of osteoarthritis.
  • Let’s take a look at them.
  • If the condition is in the family, particularly parents or siblings
  • Undergoing menopause
  • Gender, as women have higher rates of OA than men
  • Any medical condition that affects your joint, like diabetes

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