Prevention and Cure of Osteoarthritis in Young People

Posted On Sep 29, 2022

Dr. Kiran Chouka

Consultant - Orthopedic Joint Replacement and Arthroscopic Surgeon

Manipal Hospital-Hebbal

orthopaedics hospital in yeshwanthpur

The term "osteoarthritis" (OA) refers to a diverse range of disorders that affect the joints and cause symptoms and physical changes in the bone's morphology that are linked to damaged articular cartilage. It is regarded as the most prevalent kind of arthritis and one of the most important health issues that permeate modern society. Although osteoarthritis can harm any joint, it most frequently affects the hands, knees, hips, and spine. 

Though mainly elderly who are mostly inactive are the usual population associated with the condition, athletes and younger individuals are also susceptible in this case. The aetiology may vary according to the population; injuries, work-related activities, and obesity seem to be the most frequent causes of OA among young and athletic populations. Due to their higher pain tolerance, diagnosing OA in athletes and young people might be difficult at times. But how OA is managed in young people is the same as OA management in the general population. Visit Orthopaedics hospital in Bangalore to know more about the treatment options.

Causes of Osteoarthritis in Young

Even though osteoarthritis is more prevalent in older people, it can still affect many young people in their teens, 20s, and 30s. Although it can affect young individuals differently, the symptoms are typically the same regardless of age. The reason behind osteoarthritis involves:         

  • Joint problems or injuries.

  • History of osteoarthritis in the family.

  • Pursuing a sedentary way of life.

  • Keeping bad posture when doing regular heavy lifting or prolonged sitting.

  • A profession that continuously stresses the joints.

  • Being very active or athletic.

  • Having diabetes or growth hormone-related issues.

  • Playing sports like football or hockey regularly which impacts more on joints.

  • Born with hip dysplasia.

A young person's ability to execute their profession or their preferred activity can be impacted by early-onset osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis can also have an impact on mental health, particularly in young people like teenagers. Teenagers may feel excluded and socially alienated if osteoarthritis prevents them from participating in the same sports or having the same social life as others. Consult with our ortho doctor in Yeshwanthpur, Bangalore to know more about the treatment options.

Prevention and cure from Osteoarthritis

Reducing risk factors can help prevent adolescents from developing osteoarthritis.

  • Physiotherapists can encourage the maintenance of a healthy weight, low-impact exercises (such as aqua therapy), and joint stability exercises to reduce the risk of joint problems.

  • Young patients should be referred to a podiatrist for orthotics in cases of malalignments (a leg-length discrepancy, varus/valgus, etc.) to stop the development of OA (in the knee or hip).

Even though joint damage cannot be repaired, osteoarthritis symptoms can be controlled to help the sufferers lead a normal life. Orthobiologics, medicines, lifestyle counseling, and surgery are the options for treating osteoarthritis. In order to strengthen the muscles surrounding the joint and stabilize it, lifestyle adjustments should be made, including any necessary weight loss activities and low-impact exercise such as yoga. If the patient’s profession or a preferred form of exercise is the cause of the symptoms, a doctor could recommend a check-up with the physiotherapist.

Additionally, they can advise applying hot or cold compresses or topical treatments for better recovery. Other than that, the core management strategies for OA in younger individuals involve non-pharmacological methods, which include appropriate disease-related education, activity modification (including for work-related tasks), physical therapist-prescribed exercise programs to address identified physical impairments, and weight control or weight loss. When non-pharmacological and pharmacological management strategies are no longer effective, referral for joint-conserving or joint replacement surgery should be considered.

Dr. Kiran Chouka

Manipal Hospitals, Yeshwanthpur, Bangalore

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