Overview of arthritis
But not so many, perhaps, know about the unique challenges women face regarding arthritis. Not only do women get more arthritis than men, but women also often experience worse pain –ache in different joints and are far more vulnerable to rheumatoid arthritis, one of the most debilitating forms of the condition.
These tend to move different joints in women than in men. Men have more in the hip joints, women on their hands and knees. For one thing, women’s tendons move more because they are more elastic and are also more prone to injury. Additionally, women’s wider hips affect knee alignment in a way that leaves them more vulnerable to certain types of injuries, resulting in more arthritis in the future.
Hormones also play a role. Estrogen helps keep inflammation under control, which is why younger women have less arthritis than men, but when levels plummet with menopause, it often follows. Investigators are currently trying to unravel other complicated findings of how hormones shape arthritis risk, with apparent connections between puberty, childbearing, and the use of hormone spare therapy.
Excess weight means more arthritis. Obesity is more in women than in men. Excess weight puts pressure on the knee joints, erodes cartilage, and therefore increases the risk. One pound of body weight translates to three additional pounds of pressure on each knee joint.
Rheumatoid arthritis is increasing among women
According to all, after 40 years of decline, the incidence (frequency of occurrence) and prevalence (total number of cases in a given population) of rheumatoid arthritis among women is increasing. From 1995 to 2005, the occurrence of rheumatoid arthritis among women was 54 per 100,000 compared to 36 per 100,000 during the previous 10 years.
For men, the occurrence was stable at 29 per 100,000. The researchers concluded that an environmental factor could explain the reverse trend for women.
Why is arthritis more common in women?
It is more common in females than in men. Find out why women are more susceptible to arthritic conditions.
Nearly 27 million Americans with osteoarthritis, about 60 per cent of them are women and the risk factors change with age. Up to 55 years, more men are affected, but after 55, the number of women with the condition exceeds the number of men. Gender also determines which joints tend to be pretentious. It is more common for men to experience in the hips. In women, It inclines to affect the hands or knees.
Thumb arthritis is more communal in women and can be very disabling. Women are more susceptible than men for several reasons:
- Genetics. Osteoarthritis appears to run in families, and researchers have found specific genetic links amongst women for osteoarthritis of the hand and knee.
- Hormones Research proposes that female hormones have an effect on the shock-absorbing cartilage found between the bones of the joints to allow smooth joint movement. Although the female hormone estrogen defends cartilage from inflammation, women lose that protection after menopause when estrogen levels drop.
- Joint stability. Women’s joints are looser than men’s the bones move more and are less stable within the joint. When joints are less stable, they are more prone to injury, and injuries can lead to this disease.
When the bones move toward the ends of the joint, they go beyond the point where the joint should move. This damages the cartilage and can trigger the development of this disease.
Some people cope with this pain for years because they don’t realize there are treatments that can help. It is important to talk to your doctor about your level of pain and how often you experience it. It progresses over time, but we have treatments that can make this development less painful for patients.
When to seek treatment
It doesn’t have to spell the end of an active life. If you are experiencing worrisome symptoms or persistent pain, the renowned arthritis specialists at Summit Orthopedics can help. They work with you to confirm a diagnosis and develop an appropriate conservative treatment plan. If nonsurgical treatments fail to support your lifestyle goals, fellowship-trained orthopaedic surgeons will consult with you and discuss appropriate surgical options. Summit is home to innovative joint replacement options.