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  • Emma B

The prevalence of osteoarthritis in young people

Updated: Apr 6, 2023

Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis, affecting millions of people worldwide. It is a degenerative disease of the joints that can cause pain, stiffness, and swelling. In the past, osteoarthritis was considered a disease of the elderly, but it is now known that it can affect people of all ages.

The prevalence of osteoarthritis in young people is on the rise. Osteoarthritis can have a significant impact on a person’s quality of life, and it is important to understand the causes and risk factors for the disease. Keep reading to learn more about osteoarthritis and its prevalence in young people.

What is osteoarthritis?

Osteoarthritis is a type of joint disease that causes damage to the cartilage that covers the ends of your bones. Cartilage is a firm but elastic tissue that cushions the ends of your bones and allows your joints to move smoothly.

Osteoarthritis can occur in any joint, but it most commonly affects joints in your hands, knees, hips, and spine. When the cartilage that protects your joints breaks down, the bones rub against each other, causing pain, swelling, and stiffness.

Osteoarthritis is a degenerative disease, which means it gets worse over time. There is no cure for Osteoarthritis but there are treatments that can help relieve your pain and improve your quality of life.

What are the causes?

The causes of osteoarthritis differ between somebody who is young and an older person with the condition. In older people, this condition normally occurs due to long-term wear and tear of the joints which is naturally occurring. Here are some examples of causes in young people: - Being overweight

- Living a sedentary lifestyle

- Poor posture when sitting or lifting

- Joint injuries

- Family history

- Having diabetes or hormone growth disorder

How does it affect young people?

Although it is more common in older people, many people in their teens, 20’s and 30’s can suffer with the condition. The symptoms are generally the same: swelling, pain in the joint, reduced movement and popping/clicking noises. Early onset osteoarthritis can affect a young persons ability to carry out their job or perform their favourite exercise. This can also affect their mental well-being.

It can also impact their ability to go to school or to go to work. If time off is needed to attend appointments or have surgeries, the pain and the time off needed for that will impact those things.

While osteoarthritis is commonly thought of as a disease that affects older people, it can actually affect people of all ages. The prevalence of osteoarthritis in young people is on the rise, and it can be debilitating for all sufferers. If you are experiencing joint pain, it is important to see a professional for a diagnosis and treatment plan.

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