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

It is believed that osteoarthritis is a result of aging, or due to a poor diet which weakens the bones. Yet, this is not the entire truth, as scientists analyze this matter and are about to prove us wrong.

Millions of people suffer from osteoarthritis worldwide, and about 27 million of them live in the U.S. In most cases, this degenerative joint disease affects the knees, hips, neck, lower back, toes, and fingers.

Our joints and bones are supported with cartilage, which is a firm cushion that prevents bone injuries and helps the joints to bend smoothly. Yet, in the case of osteoarthritis, it starts to break downs of the bones and cartilage chip off, and spurs, or bone growths, start to appear.

Over time, the inflammation worsens, and the symptoms are significantly aggravated.

The most common causes of the inflammation include:

  • Joint injuries
  • Aging
  • Genetic defects in bone cartilage
  • Stress from sports or repetitive movements
  • Excess weight, obesity
  • Improperly formed joints

However, In July 2017, postdoctoral research fellow in the Department of Human Evolutionary Biology at Harvard University, Dr. Ian Wallace (and his team), published a study in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America in July 2017, which involved the analysis of “over 2000 skeletons from three different time periods.”

Researchers studied the skeletons, specifically their knees, from the early industrial to post-industrial era up to the early 2000s, including 176 prehistoric ones, and concluded that the number of knee osteoarthritis cases nowadays is twice higher than it was in the mid-1900s.

Additionally, even after they factored in the higher rates of obesity and longer life expectancy, they found that this rise in the condition would still occur. Therefore, Dr. Wallace maintained that modern-day inactivity is another cause of knee osteoarthritis.

This can give us hope, as we can prevent the progression of osteoarthritis by regular physical activity.

First of all, you can benefit a lot from resistance training and equipment like resistance bands, as they provide constant tension that strengthens the muscles and improve balance.

Moreover, such exercises boost bone density and help you build and maintain muscle mass, bone health, and overall health.

Furthermore, you should also remain active even do you spend a lot of time sitting at work.

Try walking around the neighborhood in the evening, do some resistance band exercises at home, and strengthen the muscles around the joints and bones, in order to successfully prevent osteoarthritis.



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