Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common chronic (long-lasting) joint condition causing pain and stiffness. It happens as we advance in age and are constantly using our joints in simple day to day activities, it can however happen at any age especially with the increasing engagement of young adults in sports. In Ireland, there are, almost nine hundred thousand suffering from some sort of arthritis.
A normal healthy joint comprises of two bone surfaces covered by cartilage but a joint is not just that, there are other elements all of which can contribute to joint pain each in a different way.
Synovial membrane. A tissue called the synovial membrane lines the joint and seals it into a joint capsule.
Meniscus (only the Knee joint)
Major Factors Contributing to Osteoarthritis
- Age, as we advance in age the mere wear and tear of daily use of our joints and constant movement takes its toll. This is why this condition is most commonly seen after the age of 50.
- Injury, an old traumatic injury whether it be an accident or a sports injury can lead to an early onset osteoarthritis.
- Sports, people who professionally play sports or engage in High contact sports such as Rugby, Gaelic football or Soccer are again more susceptible for early onset arthritis due to High joint impact, overuse and repeated joint injury.
- Occupation, from experience we have seen that certain occupations have higher incidence than others such as heavy manual labour, brick layers, plumbers and farmers. It all goes back to overuse of certain joints.
- Obesity, has a huge impact on your back, hip and knee joints.