Causes Of Arthritis

Written by James Lyons
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Arthritis comes in many different forms--rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, gouty arthritis--to name a few. A number of different things have been known to cause arthritis or make conditions prime for the onset of arthritis. In fact, scientists still don't know what causes some forms of arthritis. However, for now, we'll stick to what we do know about the causes of arthritis.

Age is perhaps the most common cause of arthritis. The older you get, the greater your chance of developing arthritis, especially osteoarthritis. As you get older, your cartilage between your bones wears down and the bones get more brittle. Heredity also contributes to a person's chances of getting arthritis. If your father has osteoarthritis, you have a decent chance of getting osteoarthritis. If you have specific genes, you have a greater chance of developing certain forms of arthritis.

More Causes of Arthritis

If you overuse a specific joint, you increase your chances of getting arthritis in that joint. If you're a tennis player, you have a greater chance of getting arthritis in your shoulder or elbow because of the repetitive stress you put on these joints. If you injure a particular joint, that joint is at risk of attracting arthritis at a later age.

Infection is also a common cause of arthritis. Some forms of arthritis arise from bacterial and viral infections. Obesity is also a common cause of arthritis. The extra pounds add unnecessary pressure to the lower extremities, potentially causing the accelerated degradation of cartilage tissue. Obese people have a greater risk of developing osteoarthritis in their lower body joints.

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