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Osteoarthritis - What Increases Your Risk

Things that can increase your risk for osteoarthritis are called risk factors. Some risk factors, such as your age or family history, can't be changed or prevented.

You may be able to reduce other risk factors by making lifestyle changes or taking medicine.

Recommended Related to Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis Prevention

By age 65, more than half of us will have X-ray evidence of osteoarthritis, a disease in which the cartilage that covers the ends of the bones at the joints breaks down and bony overgrowth occurs. For many, the result is stiffness and pain in the joint. Although osteoarthritis (or OA) is more common as we age, it is not an inevitable part of aging. As researchers work to understand the causes of osteoarthritis, they are able to offer advice to help prevent the disease or its progression and lessen...

Read the Osteoarthritis Prevention article > >

Risk factors you may be able to change or prevent

  • Being overweight. Extra weight puts added stress on your joints and can change the normal shape of the joint.
  • Joint injury. A single major injury to a joint or several minor injuries can cause cartilage damage over time. Activities that put repeated stress on a joint include squatting, kneeling, or heavy lifting common to some sports and jobs.
  • Lack of exercise, which can cause your muscles and joints to get weak and stiff.

Risk factors you can't change

    This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: October 17, 2013
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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