What causes joint deterioration?

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Mechanical "wear and tear" on a person's joints over a lifetime seems to be an obvious explanation for the increase in arthritis with age, but the answer is not that simple. The current view is that a number of factors interact to cause joint deterioration. Some of these factors include heredity, developmental abnormalities of joint formation, genetic predisposition to abnormal cartilage metabolism, major or minor repetitive injures, and certain occupations. While being overweight does not necessarily cause arthritis, it certainly contributes to early and more rapid progression of joint problems. What are the types of arthritis? There are 127 kinds of arthritis, some very rare, and some quite common. Osteoarthritis (OA) is by far the most common form. It is a localized form that may affect only one or two joints. Osteoarthritis most often involves the weight-bearing joints such as the hips, knees, and spine. It also occurs in the small finger joints, the joint at the base of the ... more
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