Nearly half of all Americans over 60 develop osteoarthritis
and according to some studies, as many as 80% of Americans over 65 are
afflicted with it. The percentage of osteoarthritis sufferers in Canada
is even higher.
Despite the widespread notion that only those "over the
hill" get osteoarthritis, it has been detected even in adolescents.
Joints don't just wear out with age. Although osteoarthritis is more
common in seniors, age is definitely only one of the causes.
Research now indicates that, in addition to age, several other
factors contribute to the development of osteoarthritis: heredity, as
well as joint damage done by injury or by chronic obesity.
Interestingly, regardless of the contributing factors, osteoarthritis
results from weakening bone and joint
An injury such as a fracture or torn cartilage may result in
osteoarthritis later in life, and osteoarthritis may follow unusual or
prolonged strain on a joint either in work or sport. People who
constantly stress their joints are at particular risk of getting
osteoarthritis — e.g., bus
drivers, miners, and foundry workers —
while long distance runners who are trained in avoiding and recovering
from injury are not more likely to develop osteoarthritis.
Being overweight for a long period of time is also considered to
speed up the process.
Obviously, extra weight leads to increased stress on weight-bearing
joints such as the knees, hips, and lower spine, and anecdotal evidence
suggests that people who are overweight are also more likely to develop
osteoarthritis in their fingers and hands.
While osteoarthritis may be more likely to develop in the chronically
obese, the jury is still out with regard to the exact causal link.
Some forms of osteoarthritis do run in families, especially
those that affect the small joints of fingers. But in general, heredity
is not a major reason for osteoarthritis.
In some people, osteoarthritis may be triggered by another
disease, for example, Paget's disease.
Although the main cause of osteoarthritis
is known to be weakened bone, joint, and muscle metabolism, the precise
causal mechanisms are still unknown. Research is continuing with regard
to cells within cartilage that break down and contribute to
Osteoarthritis is not caused by bacteria or poisons in the
blood, acids in the body, diet deficiencies or excesses, gland
abnormalities, the weather, exercise or sudden shock —
although some of
these may influence the pain.
Normally, joints operate with such a low friction level that they
don't wear out, unless they are injured or used excessively. When
bone and joint metabolism slows down, even at a low friction level, the
joint cartilage soon wears out.
Osteoarthritis probably begins most often with an abnormality
of the cells that synthesize the components of cartilage, such as
collagen (a tough, fibrous protein found in connective tissue) and
proteoglycans (substances that render the cartilage's resilience).
Next, the cartilage may grow too much but eventually thins and
develops cracks on the surface. Then, tiny cavities form in the marrow of the
bone beneath the cartilage, weakening the bone.
Bone can overgrow at the edges of the joint, producing bone
spurs (osteophytes), which can be seen and felt. These bone spurs may
interfere with normal joint function, causing pain.
Ultimately, the smooth, slippery surface of the cartilage becomes
rough and pitted, so that the joint can no longer move smoothly. The
components of the joint can all fail in different ways.
It's not uncommon for people who have developed osteoarthritis to
report symptoms of osteoporosis,
bone spurs or fibromyalgia. In fact, many bone-and joint-related
problems can be traced back to one common source: weakened bone and joint metabolism.
With age, bone and joint metabolism slows down naturally, causing all
sorts of problems with bones, joints, and muscles. EZorb is the only
product that has successfully addressed all those problems at their
source — by raising the level of
bone, joint and muscle metabolism.