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Study Reveals That Osteoarthritis Is More Common Today Than It Was in Ancient Times​

As more and more patients of osteoarthritis come in to seek treatment for pain relief, researchers have begun to notice a trend of sorts. Better medicines are allowing people to live longer lives, and with that age-related ailments have been statistically on the rise. This has driven the common belief that wear and tear resulting from stress on the knee joint due to increased weight, as well as the natural degradation of one’s body as it ages were the major reasons for the onset of arthritis in the knee. But a recent study has found that after adjusting for age and body mass, osteoarthritis is twice as more common today than it was 60 years ago. This does come as a fair shock to most people. After all, when we have access to more effective medicines and treatment for most diseases today than we did even a decade earlier, degenerative joint disease should logically be on the decline. The truth, however, is far from that. Daniel E. Lieberman and Ian J. Wallace, co-authors of the study, found that its history stretches farther than the just the mid-20th Century. Part of the crucial data had been collected through intense study of human skeletons housed in medical institutes and museums all across America, some even as old as 6000 years. The researchers worked with the presumption that the oldest of these skeletons would provide evidence of a higher prevalence of osteoarthritis, owing to the rigorous lifestyle involved in most prehistoric hunter-gatherer societies. But the results proved the opposite. Correcting for age and body mass, the data posited that osteoarthritis was less common in people from these ancient times. From the 1950’s onwards, human beings have developed a greater proclivity to be afflicted by degenerative joint disease. The “why” behind it all however is something the study unfortunately hasn’t located. But Lieberman offers his own guess: Americans began living more comfortably after the 50s, and therefore becoming significantly less physically active. Today, lack of exercise is nearly a chronic condition for the average American, and this may be affecting how our joints develop as we age. If cartilage doesn’t properly form when we’re younger, then we’re all the more likely to suffer from arthritis as we grow older. But exercise isn’t the only guess - more and more Americans are shifting toward high-calorie, , our muscles and bones aren’t receiving the necessary minerals that will keep us healthy in the long run. By being careless about what we eat, we’re setting ourselves up for a number of diseases and disabilities, including osteoarthritis. An exact cause however is yet still being sought out. This recent study however helps to point researchers and scientists in a new direction toward finding out what causes degenerative joint disease and how it can be remedied. In the meanwhile, it's best to seek out treatment for effective and long-lasting pain relief. At the US Knee Center, our team of specialists work tirelessly to ensure that you can walk ahead in life once again, absolutely pain free. Contact us today for a free consultation to book an appointment. ​

What’s New in Osteoarthritis Research​

You might have been told by your doctor that they just can’t “fix” your osteoarthritis. Current treatment methods are geared towards reducing the symptoms rather than the disease itself, which might be disheartening to some who just want to be cured of their ailment. But that doesn’t mean the future doesn’t hold hope. Scientists and researchers aren’t content with what we have right now and are tirelessly working to come up with easy and affordable remedies for degenerative joint disease, more commonly known as osteoarthritis. Although these very experts haven’t gotten to the testing stage yet, their work has yielded plentiful evidence that supports the possibility of not only stopping arthritis, but also reversing and preventing it. Halting ProgressionCurrently, only a handful of studies have identified the potential to stop the progression of the arthritis in patients already suffering from it, however the researchers involved are confident that they may have “hit gold”. One such study has discovered that osteoarthritic cartilage cells function differently than normal cartilage cells owing to certain enzymes. These enzymes are thus affecting the genes responsible for cartilage wear and progressive arthritis - the research involves identifying them and preventing arthritis in patients from worsening by removing or modifying the enzymes that affect those genes.A different team of researchers have also claimed to have discovered another entity that could possibly stunt arthritis progression. The study has located a natural genetic molecule called microRNA 140 that occurs in the body that is shown to counter the growth of arthritis through gene expression. And the fact that this molecule is found within the body, new treatments with significantly lower side effects and chances of rejection can be developed. Curing Degenerative Joint DiseaseAnother line of research has discovered that stem cells can, to a certain extent, regenerate damaged cartilage, resolving a prominent cause behind the acute joint pain felt by patients of osteoarthritis. The study aims at creating permanent and affordable solutions for the disease. While these new leaps and discoveries are being made, there is much about arthritis that still remains a mystery of medical science. Current research has yet to identify the cause or reason behind the onset of arthritis, as well as multiple other indicators of why our bodies tend to break down in older age. But given the studies that are being conducted and the possibilities they hold for the future, we’re only taking the last few steps towards the right answers. All we need is a little patience and to hold our trust in the people working towards an arthritis-free world. Where scientists are doing what they can to curb the disease, you can get excellent treatment for your symptoms at the US Knee Center. Our network of medical experts and trained physiotherapists are equipped with the right qualifications and tools to provide you with long-lasting pain relief. Contact us today and book an appointment.​


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