Risk factors in the development of arthritis
The nature of risk when it comes to conditions such as arthritis can effectively fall into two categories – those factors which you can’t control and those you can.
Factors which may place you at a higher risk for arthritis, which cannot be prevented are:
- Genetics and family history: It is not entirely known why, but genetics do appear to play a role. It’s not uncommon for arthritic conditions to run in families. Risk is higher if you have genes which may make you more susceptible to environmental influences which can trigger arthritis. Parents, siblings or even grandparents with an arthritis type can place you at higher risk for developing a similar condition too.
- The aging process: Arthritis symptoms do typically worsen with age, especially those of osteoarthritis, RA and gout.
- Your sex: A higher number of women tend to develop inflammatory arthritis conditions than men. Gout for instance, is more likely to develop in men than women.
Risk factors which may be prevented include:
- Obesity and excess weight: Those with excess weight problems are at higher risk of developing arthritis following prolonged periods of unnecessary stress on the body’s joints. Areas most vulnerable include the spine, hips and knees.
- Joint injuries (past): Previous injuries, even if they have healed, are at increased risk of eventually developing arthritic symptoms.
When it comes to lifestyle patterns and habits, you can influence your level of risk by making appropriate changes to your activity levels (especially repetitive motion), diet and even the environments which you frequent.
Complications which can arise from arthritis include:
- Chronic or long-term pain and stiffness
- Increased difficulties with performing basic daily activities
- Joint twisting or deformity