Ask the Experts- August 2018

By: Red Hot Mamas

Published: August 10, 2018

Dear Red Hot Mamas

Thank you for being of such help to so many women!  My mother, may she rest in peace, had osteoarthritis.  Does that mean I will have it, too? I am feeling fine now but I am only 41.  So, this question isn’t about menopause but my fear of osteoarthritis.


Dear Jennifer,

Osteoarthritis (OA) affects over 30 million US adults.  (OA) is the most common joint disorder in the United States.  Women tend to be afflicted by osteoarthritis more than men. It becomes more common as you get older.  Even though it is quite common, not everyone suffers from it. It’s not known why some people are unaffected by pain, while others develop it and hobble around in pain.  You ask will you have it too.

Here are the risk factors for osteoarthritis:

  • You’re past age 45: Cartilage and other joint structures tend to degrade and become weaker over time and then they start to wear out
  • You’ve had a joint injury: Playing rough and tumble sports, or doing hard and repetitive exercise (dancers) may increase your likelihood of developing OA
  • If you are a woman: Women are three times more likely than men to develop osteoarthritis which may be due to the fact that we have smaller joint structures
  • Being overweight or obese:  excess weight puts a lot of strain on the weight bearing joints (hips, knees, and ankles)
  • Having a history of osteoarthritis in your family. There is a genetic component to OA
  • It appears you have no symptoms. It is equally important that if you have any of the symptoms below that you get a thorough examination and diagnosis from a qualified clinician.

Here are some of symptoms associated with OA:

  • Pain after moving the joint
  • Stiffness and loss of movement
  • Tenderness, warmth and swelling around the joint
  • A creaking sound when moving the joint (popping or crunching sounds)
  • A smaller range of motion in the joint or feeling it may give away
  • Bony growths on the fingers (lumps at the ends of the fingers or on the middle joint)

If your clinician diagnosis you with osteoarthritis, you can work with your clinician to devise a treatment plan.  With proper treatment, pain can be diminished significantly and joint degradation can be kept to a minimum. And, also losing weight plays a big role in reducing stress on the joints.  So keep active and exercise is important which helps to lubricate your joints.