Sunday, March 9, 2008

Common Arthritis Causes

There are over 100 different types of arthritis and probably as many causes of arthritis as there are types of arthritis. The most common cause of arthritis though is wear and tear.

So what causes wear and tear on the joints? Here are the most common;
• Age: As age increases, so does the risk of arthritis. Cartilage becomes more brittle and is more likely to wear away with the aging process, leaving the joints without the protective cushioning it needs.
• Injury: Often, a previous injury can accelerate the wear and tear process on the joint and lead to arthritis later in life.
• Excess weight: Extra weight increases the pressure on joints, which can result in an earlier onset of arthritis.
• Sports: Years of playing tennis will stress the elbow. Football and baseball can stress the knees. If you stick with one sport for many years, you can increase the chance of arthritis later in life.
• Occupational Hazards: A number of jobs can contribute to the onset of arthritis. Jobs, such as assembly line work, with repeatative motion for extended periods of time can lead to tendonitis or other forms of arthritis. Construction work and other jobs that require constant heavy lifting can also contribute to arthritis.
• Infection: Both viral and bacterial infections can result in the onset of certain types of arthritis.
• Stress: Not only will it kill you, it can make the trip to the grave a painful one. Being under too much stress can upset the body’s hormonal balance, which in turn upsets the body’s immune system. A weakened immune system leaves you vulnerable to foreign bacteria, which can result in the onset of arthritis.
• Genetic predisposition: While heredity plays less of a role than your own lifestyle, it does play a role. If your mom hobbles around on arthritic knees, you might want to give yours a little extra special care.

You can't do much about your genetics but there is plenty you can do about the other common causes of wear and tear on the joints. With that in mind, you can reduce the wear and tear on your joints by;
• Avoiding repetitive movements.
• Keeping joints flexible and muscles strong with a regular exercise routine. • Avoid lifting heavy objects that are too heavy.
• Live a life of balance and moderation.

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