Skeletons Say Osteoarthritis Isn’t About Aging, It’s About Activity

Osteoarthritis affects millions of people, 27 million in America only. It is a degenerative joint disease which affects the joints in the hips, neck, toes, knees, lower back, and fingers.

A recent study has found that osteoarthritis is a result of other factors despite aging or weakened bones due to a poor diet.

The joints and bones in the body are protected by the cartilage, which is a firm cushion that helps their smooth bending.

Yet, in the case of this condition, it starts to break down, pieces of bones and cartilage chip off, and this leads to the formation of bone growths called spurs. Over the time, the inflammation worsens due to the constant contact of bones.

The most common causes of the inflammation include:

  • Joint injuries
  • Aging
  • Excess weight, obesity
  • Genetic defects in bone cartilage
  • Stress from sports or certain activities that require repetitive movements
  • Joints that never properly formed

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, in July 2017, published the findings of the postdoctoral research fellow in the Department of Human Evolutionary Biology at Harvard University, by Dr. Ian Wallace and his team.

They studied more than skeletons from three different time periods, from the early industrial to post-industrial era up to the early 2000s, as well as 176 prehistoric ones.

The researchers found that nowadays, knee osteoarthritis is twice more common than it was in the mid-1900s, and this is not only a result of the longer lifespan and the rise of obesity.

They considered these two factors, and discovered that the rise of arthritis would still happen apart from them, so they cannot be the main causes for the rise of arthritis.

They believe that the physical inactivity which is common in the modern era is the main cause for the increase in knee osteoarthritis.

This provides hope, as we can actually prevent the progression disease.

First of all, we can benefit from resistance training and equipment like resistance bands, as they provide constant tension which will improve balance and strengthen the muscles.

Moreover, resistance training will build and support the health of the bones, muscle mass, and overall health.



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