Causes & Risk Factors - Osteoarthritis

There are a number of risk factors to consider while dealing with Osteoarthritis, some of which are modifiable and some non modifiable.


Non modifiable risk factors are things are that are completely out of the control of the individual and cannot be changed. These things would include genetics, gender, age, previous trauma to the joint, elevated pain response and finally temperature. Unfortunately these are the uncontrollable factors that we cannot change no matter what we do, for example OA tends to present itself more often in females over the age of 50.

However there are modifiable risk factors that we can change, things like weight management, strength and balance exercises, nutrition, perceptions or beliefs around OA and stress levels. These risk factors are completely in the control of the individual patient and can be modified over a period time.


Did you know for every Kilogram (2.2lbs) of additional bodyweight you are carrying, that is additional 4kg(8.8lbs) on your knee joint, and that is on every single step you take. So if an individual is 10kg overweight, that’s an additional 40kg per a step that person takes.


Following on from the above the guidelines for exercise are on average 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise for general health, while an individual who is looking to lose weight would look to increase that duration up to 300 minutes.


While we cannot control every single stressor in our life, there are steps we can take to help reduce some factors. Things like becoming more active, getting outdoors, seeking a therapist, booking a massage, creating time for yourself to try a new hobby or activity, all of which will have a positive impact on your on wellbeing and potentially those around you.