Table of Contents
What Is Osteoarthritis?
Osteoarthritis is a common type of arthritis. The other names are degenerative joint disease or "wear and tear" arthritis. Patients often experience it in their hands, hips, or knees.
A joint's cartilage begins to degrade, and the bone underneath it changes due to osteoarthritis. These problems often take place relatively slowly and become worse with time. Inflammation, stiffness, and persistent pain are signs of women's osteoarthritis.
Some patients cannot do everyday duties owing to the symptoms of the disease, which may sometimes result in severely reduced joint function or even impairment.
Females are most commonly impacted by knee osteoarthritis. Besides, research data shows that females suffer more severe osteoarthritis than males. There are different justifications for why females are more vulnerable to osteoarthritis. Keep reading to learn more.
Why are Women More Prone to Osteoarthritis?
Osteoarthritis pain, unlike other kinds of arthritis, generally develops gradually over months or years. It often worsens with joint-stressing activities like jogging or extended walking. Pain and joint swelling tend to worsen gradually over time.
A feeling of crunching or grinding occurs sometimes. Fever, weight loss, or very hot and red joints are typical symptoms of osteoarthritis. These characteristics point to another ailment or form of arthritis.
A detailed medical history check and an examination of your joints by your osteoarthritis doctor may lead to the diagnosis of osteoarthritis. X-rays may be necessary if there is no other cause for the discomfort.
Reasons for Increasing Rate of Osteoarthritis in Women
Below listed are reasons that lead to osteoarthritis in women:
Genetic research has linked several cases of osteoarthritis in women to a family connection. Surprisingly, women are at a higher risk of experiencing arthritis in the same joints and age as their mothers. Despite this, the condition does not spare men entirely, so being aware of a family history remains equally essential for both sexes.
Due to the anatomical variations, gender-specific total knee replacements have been developed. Even though these variations exist, there is no evidence connecting them to the onset of osteoarthritis. However, variations in the amount of the knee cartilage may be crucial.
Compared to males, women have a more significant volume loss in the knee cartilage over time, and women may therefore be at higher risk of cartilage abnormalities progressing. Less baseline cartilage and more volume loss likely contribute to knee arthritis in women, but this hasn't been demonstrated with absolute certainty.
Further research on the anatomic causes of the development of osteoarthritis is needed, given the lack of knowledge in this area.
Weight gain adds strain on the joints and may account for the cause of osteoarthritis in women after age 55. The friction between the bones in joints due to this tension may be dangerous, and those at risk must maintain their target body weight or lose excess weight.
Due to the inflammation, women's osteoarthritis may occur in any joint, even the non-weight-bearing joints in the hands.
The growing incidence of osteoarthritis in women has also prompted research into the impact of hormones. The effect of relaxin, a hormone that increases during pregnancy and causes joints to loosen, perhaps leading to instability.
Increased relaxin has been speculated as a potential reason for the higher occurrence of hand osteoarthritis in women compared to males, and this connection is still under investigation.
Hormone levels also change throughout menopause and fluctuate with menstrual cycles. Menopause can initially cause or increase joint pain. As estrogen levels fall, the body undergoes changes that can accelerate the progression of this condition.
Due to the rise of female participation in school and college sports over the past several decades, more females suffer from sports injuries, notable tears of the knee's anterior cruciate ligament (ACL).
Even if medically treated, this damage increases an individual's risk of osteoarthritis. Any knee instability causes wear and tear over time.
As girls with ACL injuries mature, we may observe a rise in osteoarthritis in women in the following years. According to one research, over half of the female football players who experienced ACL injuries acquired x-ray evidence of osteoarthritis over the next 12 years.
Additionally, it is uncertain how hemarthrosis and the release of various substances would affect the cartilage in the joints. To establish a clear correlation, further research with long-term follow-up is necessary.
Why Talk to Doctor Online for Osteoarthritis?
While your osteoarthritis doctor can offer supportive advice, they could suggest that you consult a rheumatologist who is an expert in diseases like osteoarthritis. You may now contact a rheumatologist doctor online, which is convenient and accessible due to technological improvements.
Online consultations allow you to discuss your symptoms, get a diagnosis, and look into your treatment choices from your home. You can do an internet search on reliable medical directories or request referrals from your primary care physician.
Do Rheumatologists Treat Osteoarthritis?
You can speak with a qualified osteoarthritis doctor if your condition is severe. Here the doubt is, do rheumatologists treat osteoarthritis? A physician who specialises in treating inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, and related ailments is known as a rheumatologist.
The requirement of an expert depends on your problem's severity and circumstance. Finding a rheumatologist doctor online could be necessary if your condition is severe.
Prevention of Osteoarthritis in Women
Women of all ages should take the following steps to lower their chance of developing osteoarthritis and to treat it effectively if they already have it:
- Maintain a healthy body weight
- Include fitness in your routine
- Retain your strength and flexibility to lower your chances of injury
Women's osteoarthritis often appears with more impairment and advanced stages than males. Why is osteoarthritis more common in females is still a mystery to experts, though many theoretical reasons are available. Women may take action to improve their overall health and lessen joint discomfort. Walking, physical therapy, and light land and pool activities are typically considered safe to help maintain and grow muscle with little impact on the joints.