Empowering Human Performance | Athletigen Blog

Hip and Knee Osteoarthritis Risk, and the Role of DNA

Posted by Athletigen on Thu, Apr 02, 2020

Woman having knee pain in medical officeOsteoarthritis occurs when your range of motion is limited as a result of wear-and-tear damage to the structures in your knee and hip joints. For most people, this is due to damage to the smooth cartilage surfaces of the joint. Over time, the cartilage wears through and the joint's bones begin to rub against each other. This causes damage to the bone's surface, bone spurs, reduced range of motion, and discomfort.

How you use your joints can impact your chances of developing osteoarthritis. Too much use and your risk increases as the protective structure in your joints get damaged. Too little use and the muscles that support the proper function of your joints become weak, putting too much stress on the joints.

Your lifestyle has the greatest impact on your joint health, but your DNA also plays a role.

Osteoarthritis is a chronic joint disease that results in progressive damage to the tissues that line your joints. The SMAD3 gene plays a role in the development, growth, and maintenance of the tissue within your joints. Researchers have found that certain variants of this gene result in reduced gene activity, which can result in osteoarthritis. The most common joints to be affected by variants of this gene include your hips, jaw (temporomandibular joint), and knees.

Screen Shot 2020-04-02 at 8.02.52 PMTaking care of your joints early in life can reduce your risk of developing osteoarthritis. If you already suffer from arthritis, a physiotherapist can help develop a program to reduce the frequency and severity of your symptoms.

Athletigen's Wellness Report tells you which variant of the SMAD3 gene you have and gives you expert recommendations on what you can do to help prevent your risk of hip and knee osteoarthritis.

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