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Osteoarthritis (cont.)

What Increases Your Risk

Things that can increase your risk for osteoarthritis are called risk factors. Some risk factors, such as your age or family history, can't be changed or prevented.

You may be able to reduce other risk factors by making lifestyle changes or taking medicine.

Risk factors you may be able to change or prevent

  • Being overweight. Extra weight puts added stress on your joints and can change the normal shape of the joint.
  • Joint injury. A single major injury to a joint or several minor injuries can cause cartilage damage over time. Activities that put repeated stress on a joint include squatting, kneeling, or heavy lifting common to some sports and jobs.
  • Lack of exercise, which can cause your muscles and joints to get weak and stiff.

Risk factors you can't change

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