As we age our joints and cartilage can become worn over time, this can sometimes be diagnosed as Osteoarthritis (OA). OA is the most diagnosed type of arthritis in Ireland. While this condition is more common in women and those over the age of 50 it can still affect men and there are things that can be done to reduce the risks of OA.
OA can present in many ways, it most presents over time with slow and gradual worsening of symptoms. Some of the common signs of OA include:
- Swelling around the joints
- Stiffness or pain around the joints
- Bony growths around the joints
OA and its causes are still a subject of study for many scientists and there has been no identified single cause. In short, OA occurs after your body cannot repair the damage done to your joints from common wear and tear. This can lead to the pain and stiffening around the joints.
While there is no single cause there are a few things you can do to reduce your risk of developing OA, these include:
- Exercise regularly focusing on exercises that do not put strain on the joints, such as swimming or cycling
- Allowing an injury at a joint to fully heal and minimising the risk of overuse
- Losing weight
- Visit your GP or Physiotherapist for advice on the best exercises for your needs
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If you want to learn more about Osteoarthritis please visit:
Arthritis Ireland - HERE
HSE Osteoarthritis - HERE