Osteoarthritis is the most common form of joint disease. Numerous factors can contribute to its development, including general "wear and tear" and family history.
Osteoarthritis is commonly diagnosed amongst the elderly population, although it can also strike younger people.
Evidence now suggests joint trauma in young adulthood, or even childhood, may contribute to osteoarthritis in later life.
A study in the Annals of Internal Medicine recorded prior and current injury status in 1,321 young medical students (average age: 22 years). Injury was defined as trauma to the knee or hip joint. Subsequent trauma and specific sites of arthritis were reported during a 36-year follow-up period. That’s a long study time.
Nearly 14% of those who reported a knee injury in youth or young adulthood developed osteoarthritis of the knee by age 65, compared with only 6% of those without any such prior injury.
Overall, prior joint injury significantly correlated with risk for later-life osteoarthritis at the specific injury site.
The authors urge the use of proper sports equipment under safe conditions to help prevent joint injuries in youth.
Chiropractors have expert knowledge on ways to protect and recover from everyday ¨wear and tear¨ and joint trauma. Hopefully this blog will… spur you on (pardon the pun) to start these strategies early.
Gelber AC, Hochberg MC, Mead LA, et al. Joint injury in young adults and risk for subsequent knee and hip osteoarthritis. Annals of Internal Medicine 2000: Vol. 133, pp321-28.