There is a lot of conflicting information in the world about osteoarthritis (OA). We can help you get the facts straight. Explore four important arthritis facts from Voltaren Arthritis Pain.
Osteoarthritis: What You Need to Know
Maybe you’re experiencing osteoarthritis (OA) symptoms for the first time. Or maybe you’ve been battling OA symptoms for years. Regardless of what stage you’re at in your experience with OA, there is always opportunity to learn more. The amount of information circulating on the web—and even by word of mouth—about OA can feel overwhelming. And with ever-changing tips and tricks on how to deal, it can be tricky to know whose advice to take. We’re here to help. Below, you’ll find four interesting arthritis facts to help you increase your understanding of OA. Learning about OA and uncovering how to manage arthritis symptoms might be longer process. As the saying goes, Rome wasn’t built in a day. However, these OA facts are a great place to begin your journey. Read on to find out more.
4 Osteoarthritis Facts
Fact #1: Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis.
There are many different types of arthritis, but OA is the most common.i According to the Arthritis Foundation, more than 30 million Americans are living with OA.ii Why are the numbers so high? There are a number of reasons why a person may develop OA. However OA is a degenerative joint disease, or a disease caused by wear-and-tear of the joints.iii We use our joints every day for a variety of tasks, and while we can live a lifestyle that helps support joint health, wear-and-tear to some extent is unavoidable. That’s part of the reason why OA is fairly common.
Fact #2: Both younger and older adults can develop osteoarthritis.
A common myth about OA is that it only affects older adults, but OA can affect younger adults too. In fact, more than half of adults with OA are under 65.iv We mentioned earlier that OA is a degenerative joint disease. Since our joints undergo more wear-and-tear as we age, older adults may be more susceptible to the condition. This susceptibility is exemplified by the prevalence of symptomatic knee OA, which increases with each decade of life.v However, adults of any age can experience OA symptoms. Causes of OA in younger adults include sport injuries, repetitive occupational activities, and obesity.vi
Fact #3) Some people are predisposed to osteoarthritis.
If you have a parent or grandparent who has OA, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you will also have OA. However, it is possible to inherit a predisposition to OA if someone in your family has it.vii To clarify, there isn’t one single gene that causes OA. People inherit an increased risk of developing OA, not the condition itself.viii Women are more likely to develop OA than men, although the reason isn’t exactly clear why.ix Certain medical conditions can also affect your chances of developing OA, such as if you have diabetes or hemochromatosis.x However, keep in mind that genes aren’t the only cause of OA—living a healthy lifestyle can also help control your risk factor.
Fact #4) Managing symptoms is possible.
Osteoarthritis itself isn’t reversible. However, you don’t need to live with the pain day in and day out. There are steps you can take to help manage and improve your symptoms. Lifestyle remedies such as maintaining a healthy weight and engaging in moderate, low-impact exercise like yoga, biking, or walking can help you manage OA pain.xi Applying heat or cold to the site of the pain can be helpful if you have a heating pad or ice pack you can use.xii Physical therapy is also a good option for some individuals.xiii Another option is over-the-counter pain relief. If you’re interested in trying an OTC medicine, consider Voltaren Arthritis Pain Gel. Unlike most OTC topicals, Voltaren Arthritis Pain Gel treats pain at its source rather than masking it. Learn more about Voltaren today.