The term arthritis is used to describe 100+ conditions that affect joints, the tissues which surround joints, and other connective tissues. These conditions range from relatively mild conditions to diseases which affect the whole body. Osteoarthritis (degenerative arthritis) is the most common. Degeneration is a normal process of aging and does not have to be painful.
We can have some control over whether we develop osteoarthritis (OA) or not. Certain sports such as soccer and hockey have higher risks for injuries, specifically knee injuries. While we know that preventative exercises can reduce the risk of knee injuries by up to 50%, we can also work to prevent the injuries that do occur from developing into OA. To recover with the least amount of risk of developing OA, we need to return to function, and also to stay active without pain. We should not just stop being active because we have pain. Building leg muscles and bearing weight helps to keep our knees in the healthiest state possible, and will allow us to have less trouble in middle and older age.
- 6 Million Canadians are affected by arthritis.
- 800,000 British Columbians live with arthritis.
- 1 in 10 doctor visits are from patients with arthritis.
- Arthritis is responsible for 1 in 16 hospitalizations.
- It is estimated that 1 in 4 Canadians will have osteoarthritis by 2035.
- Patients in their thirties who have osteoarthritis typically were athletes or played a sport when they were younger.
- Some of our national level athletes have osteoarthritis.
Osteoarthritis isn’t inevitable!
If being physically active is a challenge, it is important that you do not assume you should stop being active. Check with your healthcare provider to restore pain-free movements in order to stay active.