Arthritis occurs when the cartilage, the connective tissue that protects the joints, wears out. There are different causes of breaking down of cartilage. In osteoarthritis, the cartilage breaks down due to the overuse of the affected joint(s). Although usually a disease of ageing, this degenerative disease can also happen to young people as a result of past sports injuries. On the other hand, rheumatoid arthritis occurs when the immune system attacks the body instead of protecting it, causing the swelling of the joints.
Risk factors of arthritis
There are some factors that increase the possibility of acquiring arthritis. While some are beyond your control, you can do something about the risk factors that you can still change to lessen your probability of suffering from arthritis. These factors include:
- Genetics or family history
- Being overweight or obese
- Lack of physical activities
- Past injuries
- Poor posture
- Occupations that require repetitive physical movements like kneeling, lifting, climbing stairs etc.