Understanding Why Women Are More Prone To Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis is a common ailment affecting millions of people in the UK.

It is a type of arthritis where the cartilage and bones of joints wear down.

However, women are more likely to suffer from Osteoarthritis than men! Gender also plays a role in determining which joints will be more influenced by Osteoarthritis.

For example, Osteoarthritis affects the hips in the majority of men, while the hands or knees of women.

Nevertheless, not much research data proves why women are more prone to Osteoarthritis. Yet, some factors might play a part. Let’s discuss them in detail.

Which factors can trigger Osteoarthritis in women?

  • Hormone level changes

Hormone level changes may affect women’s susceptibility to arthritis. Hormone levels vary during menopause and fluctuate throughout the menstrual cycle.

Increased joint laxity, linked to joint weakness and damage, may be caused by increased hormone levels during specific phases of the menstruation cycle. Osteoarthritis can occur as a result of joint damage or weakness. Therefore, before menstruation, oestrogen levels drop sharply, and then they increase again following a woman’s period.

Ligament receptors for oestrogen and progesterone help maintain the proper ratio of a ligament’s strength and elasticity throughout the body. The cells that produce collagen and other connective tissues for the tendons are reduced by oestrogen, resulting in thinner tissues.

Perhaps the most prominent example of the connection between menstruation, joint elasticity, and Osteoarthritis is knee arthritis.

According to many experts, ACL tears in female athletes are 2 to 8 times more common than in male athletes, who attribute this to variations in joint laxity. Additionally, ACL injury survivors have a 4–to-6 fold increased risk of developing knee osteoarthritis in the affected leg.

During menopause, oestrogen levels decrease. This decrease may be a factor in the body’s changes speeding up Osteoarthritis. 

So, after menopause, women are much more likely to suffer from arthritis. Also, they might experience new or worsening joint pain during menopause.

  • Knee cartilage volume

There is no doubt that the musculoskeletal systems of men and women vary, as do the amount and density of their bones. 

Women are more likely to develop Osteoarthritis than men, and one key reason for this is the difference in knee cartilage volume. Find doctors that looking for jobs in York and going to work in your area, check musculoskeletal systems.

MRI studies suggest that men have more tibial (the larger of the two bones between the knee and the foot) and patella (kneecap) cartilage than women.

It also revealed that women were much more likely to have patella cartilage abnormalities, making them more susceptible to arthritis.

  • Musculoskeletal and biomechanical difference

Despite having the same joints as men, women’s bodies have some musculoskeletal variations. These differences affect how women typically stand, stroll, and sprint, as well as how their joint surfaces move relative to one another (joint articulation). 

Also, women’s knees endure more wear and tear due to anatomical variations. The bony areas of women’s knee joints do not fit or move together as well as those of men’s knees. Even when the bone size and body mass are considered, women’s knees have less cartilage than men’s.

Osteoarthritis may eventually occur due to these structural variations and the resulting joint stress.

  • Tendency to carry extra weight

Many women acquire weight during the menopausal period, especially in the abdominal area. Reduced oestrogen levels, age-related muscle loss, and lifestyle elements like food and inactivity all contribute to weight increase during menopause. 

Obesity may be a mild form of systemic inflammation, giving rise to arthritis.

Also, hips, knees, and joints strain more because of the additional weight, resulting in friction between the bones and joints.

  • Genetic predisposition

It is possible that your genes are to blame for your arthritis. Your likelihood of developing arthritis may increase if you have a family history.

So, if a woman’s mother has arthritis, her risk of developing it is even higher. At the same age, she could develop arthritis in the same joints.

Tips for managing your Osteoarthritis

  • Weight loss

Weight-bearing joints are under more strain if you are fat or overweight. Reducing weight decreases the danger of further joint damage. Additionally, it makes you more mobile.

We recommend consulting a dietitian if you aim to lose weight and establish healthy dietary routines. 

  • Osteopathy

Here in our Osteopathy clinics in Maidstone & Rainham, we may use manipulative massage methods to help reduce osteoarthritis pain in patients. Every treatment is personalised for each patient, as we tailor-make the treatment to suit your needs and requirements.

We may also look at the general motion of your other joints and muscles to help your body as a whole. It’s just how us osteopaths work!

  • Exercise

Exercise is highly effective in treating Osteoarthritis. It enhances blood flow, reduces blood pressure, increases flexibility, reduces discomfort, and lifts mood. Swimming, walking and aqua exercise are popular and gentle on the joints.

Moreover, when you have Osteoarthritis, your muscles weaken, which can then increase pain. You can reduce discomfort and increase joint stability through muscle-strengthening activities, which also helps to lower your risk of falling.

  • Hot and cold packs

Warm compresses, heated baths or showers and heating blankets can help to improve blood flow, reducing pain and stiffness. Cold compresses can reduce inflammation in sore regions too. If in doubt, ask us which one suits you best!

  • Get better sleep

When you get a decent night’s sleep, life improves (are we right, or are we right?). Consult our team in our Rainham or Maidstone clinics if you are experiencing difficulty sleeping. Our team may advise exercises to help, or recommend a different sleeping posture to help you feel better.

The bottom line!

Gender discrimination exists in arthritis, which affects women more than men.

Researchers are still trying to figure out more reasons why women are more prone to Osteoarthritis. Nonetheless, women—and all adults—can take action in the interim to feel better and lessen their joint pain.

However, consider Tim Wood Healthcare if you have trouble managing your Osteoarthritis or overall health.

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