The most common type of arthritis is osteoarthritis. According to the research it is a condition that is caused by repetitive strain/microtrauma and sedentary lifestyle.1Also, it is understood that immobilization of the joints not only causes osteoarthritis but that it delays healing.2 Another article stated that if the joint is immobilized for a few weeks in the position of comfort, contractures will develop in the surrounding soft tissues and as a consequence, a normal range of joint motion will be impossible.3
Also, it is understood that immobilization of the joints not only causes osteoarthritis but that it delays healing. Another article stated that if the joint is immobilized for a few weeks in the position of comfort, contractures will develop in the surrounding soft tissues and as a consequence, a normal range of joint motionwill be impossible.
In a nutshell, whether you feel pain or not, if the joint is not going through full range of motion then osteoarthritic change is occurring. The question I get frequently is why should someone worry about future arthritis if they are not in pain now?
The diagrams below show a cross-section of the lumbar spine, one that is healthy and normal and one that is in an advanced osteoarthritic state. You will notice that inside the bone is a rather porous lattice of bone. This is the place where bone marrow is produced. Bone marrow is where your blood cells form and more importantly, your stem cells.
What do stem cells do? They hold the genetic material for all the cells in your body. If stem cell production decreases, early aging occurs and in some cases can be very rapid.
The picture that is on the right shows the degenerative changes that occur within the area that stem cells are produced. It is clear to see that osteoarthritis is more than just some possible pain that you have to deal with. It literally affects your quality and quantity of life.
Once the degenerative changes have occurred, there is no going back. The damage is done. However, it is still possible to create new habits that can limit the continued degeneration.
This is why it is important to do everything in your power to minimize future arthritis. How do you do this? Get and keep the joints moving and reduce the inflammation in your body.