Hereditary osteoarthritis

Last modified: December 17, 2018

There are several factors which all play a significant role in the development of osteoarthritis. One such factor which has been scientifically proven is heredity and also the physical construction of the joint. If there’s a history of osteoarthritis in your family, there’s a possibility of being affected by it yourself. If that’s the case, it can be a good idea to try to prevent the disease proactively. The term hereditary osteoarthritis does not refer to a specific type of osteoarthritis. It is only one way of explaining how the disease has occurred.

Underlying causes – is osteoarthritis hereditary?

The question “Why do you get osteoarthritis?” doesn’t have a simple answer. Some risk factors which we know of today can affect the development of the disease. The common denominator is overstressed joints, something that can happen in different ways. Monotonous stress like a working posture which is not varied, high body weight in relation to muscle mass, and previous joint injuries are some examples. Heredity also affects the development of the disease and is, therefore, considered a risk factor.

How does hereditary osteoarthritis appear?

Whether or not the osteoarthritis has developed because of heredity, being overweight, or a previous trauma, most people experience the same symptoms: stiffness and pain. Osteoarthritis is also a disorder which often comes in relapses. This means the symptoms vary in intensity without an obvious reason. Therefore, some days the disease can feel worse and other days it can feel better. How each person deals with osteoarthritis relapses is individual, but the general advice is to try to be as physically active as possible, even if it hurts. It will be easier to deal with the relapses in the long run. You shouldn’t stop exercising during the periods when you feel better, but continue exercising, instead.

Osteoarthritis can most easily be described as joint wear. The disorder primarily causes the cartilage found on each end of the bones in the skeleton to slowly break down. Since the cartilage constitutes a sliding surface, the friction and the resistance in the affected joint will increase. There is also a general inflammation that affects the entire joint and can vary in intensity. It tends to be painful and cause great discomfort for the person affected by the joint disease.

Preventing the development of hereditary osteoarthritis

For those who know that there is a history of osteoarthritis in their family, there are several reasons to try to prevent the disease. But no matter what, it is not harmful to strengthen the joints with the help of exercise. It is an extremely common disease that can affect everyone.

In order to prevent osteoarthritis, it’s important to be active in everyday life and to exercise regularly. The type of exercise depends on each person. The important thing is that it is a type of exercise that is gentle to the joints. It can be anything from riding bikes to daily walks, depending on the circumstances. It’s also recommended that you review your diet and eat a lot of fruit and vegetables (and less sugar and semi-manufactured products) in order to prevent osteoarthritis. This is primarily important to control body weight and body fat.

If you want tips, advice, and information about the disease, you can visit an osteoarthritis school. There are schools at several locations in Sweden. If you can’t visit any of these schools, or if you prefer digital treatment, you can download the Joint Academy app. Through both these options you can get help from a physiotherapist to find training that can strengthen the affected joint.

Treating hereditary osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis is a chronic disease that comes that causes changes in joints. These changes can’t be cured, but a majority of the people affected by it can get rid of the symptoms they’re suffering from. With the help of different lifestyle changes and different exercises that strengthen the affected joint, and above all, the muscles around it, it is possible to return to a normal life where the pain has basically disappeared. Only after the person affected by arthrosis has tried all other possible methods of treatment should surgery be considered. But even after surgery it’s recommended that you keep training the joints with different exercises.