The exact cause of osteoarthritis is not known. However there are several factors that can increase the risk of developing knee osteoarthritis:
Age. As you get older you are more likely to develop osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis is common in people over the age of 50 years. However, it can occur in younger people too.
Gender. Research has suggested that women are more likely to develop osteoarthritis than men, however, it is not clear why this is.
Genetics. Individuals who have family members with osteoarthritis are more likely to develop osteoarthritis due to there being a genetic component to osteoarthritis.
Weight. Excess weight can increase the risk of developing arthritis in a few different ways. Extra body weight puts more stress on all of the joints in the body, especially the weight-bearing joints such as the hips and knees. Also, fat tissue promotes inflammation which can be harmful to the joints.
Joint Injuries. Previous joint trauma or injuries, such as sporting injuries or accidents can increase the risk of developing osteoarthritis.
Metabolic Diseases. A few metabolic diseases such as diabetes and hemochromatosis ( a condition in which there is too much circulating iron in the body) can increase the risk for osteoarthritis. It is suggested that this is due to increased levels of inflammation in the body.
Hormone Levels. Decreased oestrogen levels experienced by women during menopause can be a risk factor for osteoarthritis. Oestrogen is a hormone more commonly known for regulating a woman’s menstrual cycle. However, osteorgen also plays a role in protecting bone health, particularly the articular cartilage. Therefore reduced levels of the hormone can increase the risk for osteoarthritis.
Repeated stress on the joint. Jobs or sports that cause you to perform repetitive movements such as squatting, bending, or kneeling may increase your risk for osteoarthritis. This is due to the repetitive movement and forces being put through the knee joint,