Doctors do not know the exact reason why people develop arthritis. Arthritis is caused by so many different factors that it is hard to pinpoint the exact reason why one person develops this painful affliction while other people with similar lifestyles do not.
It is hard to determine exactly what causes arthritis because there are not any specific lifestyle triggers that can alert a doctor that his patient is a prime candidate for developing arthritis.
Doctors believe that one reason people develop arthritis is their genetic makeup. They feel that there may be certain genetic variations that cause the problem.
For example, studies show that multiple members in a family group have all developed arthritis. Another cause of arthritis is a person’s age. As a person gets older, the cartilage that surrounds their bones and joints becomes brittle over the years.
As a person gets older it becomes harder for his body to repair the brittle cartilage and as a result, the cartilage wears down and exposes the bones to each other.
Doctors also attribute a person’s weight to the development of arthritis. When a person is overweight, that excess weight puts unnecessary stress on the person’s joints. The joints are responsible for supporting the weight and the heavier the person is; the harder it is for the joints to support the weight.
This causes the joints to wear down. Overweight people tend to experience arthritis in their hip joints and knee joints.
Arthritis can also be linked to previous joint injuries. When a joint is damaged from a previous injury, it causes the joint’s surface to become more rigid.
One example of arthritis caused by a previous injury is a medical condition called tibial plateau fracture. A person with this type of fracture will have the broken bone protruding into the cartilage that surrounds the knee joint.
People who work at jobs that require either heavy manual labor or repetitive motion can develop arthritis. Some people who are at high risk for getting arthritis for this reason are construction workers or athletes.