Osteoarthritis is a degenerative disease that affects the joints due to wear and tear of cartilage that happens over a period of time. Some symptoms of osteoarthritis are pain in the joints, swollen joints and stiff joints among others. The most common reasons for osteoarthritis are age, heredity factors and previous trauma or injury. However, there is one more factor that makes one prone to osteoarthritis and that is gender. Osteoarthritis of knees is more common in women than in men. It is more common for men to experience arthritis in their hips.
Here are few reasons what makes women prone to Knee Arthritis:
Female hormones (estrogen) protect the joint surfaces and allow free movement of the joint. As the female hormones decrease after Menopause, this protective effect is lost- which is associated with a greater production of bone-destroying cells resulting in increased joint wear.
Women have more flexible joints than men. As a result, the joints move around a little more. When the joints have less stability, they’re more prone to injury.
Because women’s hips are wider than their knees, their knee joints are not aligned as straight as men’s. The alignment of a woman’s body leads to a higher rate of knee injuries, and injuries can lead to osteoarthritis later in life
There are few studies which suggest link between specific genes and women in development of knee osteoarthritis.
Strong muscles around help to provide support to the knee joint and decrease wear and tear of the joint. Alternatively, it may be a lack of testosterone that puts women at risk because of weak muscles. Testosterone helps build muscles, and men tend to have stronger leg muscles than women. Strong muscles help support the knee joint, lowering the risk of osteoarthritis
* Maintaining healthy weight
* Controlling blood sugar: High glucose levels can affect the structure and function of cartilage, and diabetes increases the risk of inflammation and cartilage loss.
* Decreasing stress on the joint helps to decrease the wear and tear of the joint.
* Regular exercise- helps to support the knee joint and decrease wear and tear.
* Avoiding overuse: Some sports or professions involve repetitive motions of the knee joint, such as kneeling or squatting.
Consult your doctor
You can consult your doctor for Lifestyle modifications and treatment when your discomfort start. Eating a healthful diet, getting enough sleep, managing stress, and staying active all contribute to better overall well-being and a decreased risk of health issues, including OA.
Arthritis doesn’t have to spell the end of an active life. If at all you have advanced arthritis, Nartural Knee Resurfacing (NKR) surgery can bring you back to life with restored activity in more than 99% probability.
(The author is Chairman & Executive Director Elite Institutes of Orthopaedics & Joint Replacement IVY Hopital Mohali / PARAS Hospitals Panchkula)