About 54 million Americans experience arthritis, a condition that causes inflammation, pain, and limited motion in joints. But while this condition is common, not all cases are the same. There are over 100 types of arthritis, including osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, and gout. If you’re concerned about developing arthritis, here are five common risk factors that are associated with the condition.
5 Risk Factors for Developing Arthritis
The most common form of arthritis—known as osteoarthritis (OA)—is characterized by progressive deterioration of cartilage between joints. This loss of tissue increases the amount of friction between joints, resulting in severe inflammation. While this condition can occur in any person, it tends to affect individuals 65 or older, as cartilage damage is more common among senior citizens.
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) occurs when a person experiences chronic, abnormal inflammation of the joints—usually due to a faulty immune system response in the body. While the causes of rheumatoid arthritis are still being explored, the researchers at the National Institutes of Health suggest that having a family history of the disease may increase a person’s risk of developing the condition. Other autoimmune forms of arthritis, like psoriatic arthritis, could also be caused by activating certain inherited genes.
Whether due to physical trauma or excessive use, joints can develop serious injuries that increase the risk for inflammation. If you’ve developed any type of joint injury, physical therapy and chiropractic care can help the site heal properly and reduce the risk of arthritis pain.
Being overweight or obese can dramatically increase one’s risk of developing arthritis. Because excess weight places additional pressure on the joints—such as the knees—there’s a higher potential for cartilage erosion and OA. If an individual already has arthritis, this added pressure can cause even more damage to the joints, and in turn, increase the likelihood of inflammation.
Smoking cigarettes is associated with a higher risk of RA—even among people who do not have a family history of the disease. This increased risk may be due to chemicals in cigarettes that are linked to accelerated cartilage loss, as well as genetic changes. If you smoke, quitting may help lower your risk of arthritis or reduce the severity of the condition.
Whether you want to protect your joints after a personal injury or alleviate symptoms of arthritis, Dr. Kevin Richerson, DC, can help you discover natural and non-invasive relief. As an experienced chiropractor serving the Taylor County, KY, area, Dr. Richerson can pinpoint problematic joints and provide targeted treatments to minimize inflammation. Visit this provider online to learn more about the chiropractic care he offers or call (270) 469-9308 to schedule a consultation.