Do young people suffer from osteoarthritis (OA)? Well, the answer is an affirmative one. According to a 2009 national health survey, there were an estimated 10 percent of people between the ages of 18 to 69 affected by arthritis or chronic joint pain symptoms. Out of that, half or 5 percent are aged 18 to 29. Osteoarthritis is a degenerative disease caused by cartilage loss in the joint.
There is no known cure and the joint pain can be chronic and affects one’s lifestyle. Treatments tend to be directed at immediate remedy of relieving the pain and inflammation of the joint.
Young people who are overweight put additional stresses on the hips and knees and are risking their joints being worn out. The young and fit who leads a healthy lifestyle and exercising regularly by jogging and running risk the same problem of getting their joints injured as well. It is not the age that determines the occurrence of osteoarthritis, but what kind of pressure that one put the body through, especially the knees which are prone to injury as a weight bearing joint.
The joint pain from osteoarthritis can be slow and gradually and progressively increases over the years. On the onset, the symptoms may look typical and normal due to muscle straining after sport activities. These can be muscle aching and stiffness. It can also cause a crackling-like sound at the joint when moving around. This crackling-like sound is called crepitus. Symptoms of osteoarthritis commonly surfaced during activities. This pain usually goes away when resting. Progressively over time, the pain comes as it wishes even when one is at rest.
Michael, 33, a research fellow at a bio-chemical laboratory first noticed the sharp pain in his left knee joint after a normal golfing session. The golfing enthusiast seeks treatment and was diagnosed with osteoarthritis of the knee. It was discovered that he had damaged his knee, torn the meniscus and worn out his knee cartilage. Young adults engaging in strenuous sports are likely victims of osteoarthritis.
As the cartilage breaks down, movement can be difficult and painful. It is common for the joint to become enlarged and in extreme condition, deformed. Treatment of osteoarthritis is mainly targeted to reduce the progression of this incurable disease. Joint replacement surgery may be required if necessary. Other less invasive but promising options includes stem cells treatment called microfacture and platelet rich plasma therapy.
Osteoarthritis patients should avoid inactivity due to joint pain as this reduced the muscle bulk and bone density around the joint over time. Patients should focus on reducing the burden on those weight bearing joints. Switching from high impact activities like jogging to swimming or yoga is highly recommended.