Osteoarthritis: Are You at Risk?

If you suffer from osteoarthritis, you understand the debilitating pain and stiffness it can bring to your body on a daily basis. Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common form of arthritis. OA refers to the wearing down of the cartilage within your joints, which is the smooth tissue you need to protect your joints and cushion them as you move. The knees, hips, spine and hands are most often affected by this degenerative condition.

No Cure Doesn’t Mean You Have to Live in Pain

While it is true that there is no cure for osteoarthritis, there are a number of treatment modalities that your physician can use to help you manage your symptoms as well as slow the progression of this disease. While the severity of OA varies from patient to patient, it can certainly be an unwelcome obstacle to your everyday comfort and quality of life. Severe OA can make it hard to move, but not moving at all can worsen the stiffness within your joints. Therefore, it is important to find a qualified physician who can diagnose, treat and manage your osteoarthritis symptoms.

Evaluating Your Risk for OA

Like many other diseases and conditions of the body, there are certain risk factors that can raise your chances of getting osteoarthritis. Some of these risk factors you may be able to control, while there are other you cannot. Regardless, it is important to identify your OA risk factors and ask your doctor what you can do to lower your risk.

A leading risk factor for OA is age. The older you are, the more likely you are to suffer from this form of arthritis. It is also more common in women compared to men. Other significant risk factors for osteoarthritis include the following:

  • Obesity
  • Jobs or sports with repetitive joint use
  • Family history of OA
  • Prior injury to the joint
  • Weak muscles or tendons surrounding the joint
  • History of joint infection or disease
  • Structural problems that lead to imbalance/misalignment

Are you suffering from chronic pain and stiffness within your knee, hip, spine or other joints? Let us help. At CLEAR Immediate Care, we are known for our highly advanced and minimally-invasive techniques to relieve osteoarthritis pain and help you live a more comfortable life. Contact our Chicago clinic today to learn more.