What Causes Degenerative Arthritis?
Aging is the main cause of degenerative arthritis. As we age the protein content of the cartilage begins to wear down and degenerates. In turn the water content of the cartilage goes up. This could lead to the total loss of the cartilage "cushion" between the bones of the joints.
In this weakened state, if the joints are put under stress through repetitive use, it would lead to irritation and the inflammation of the cartilage which in turn leads to pain and swelling in the joints.
There’s also a genetic or hereditary factor to degenerative arthritis. If arthritis runs in the family, then the chances of children contracting it increase as they age.
Genes aside, degenerative arthritis could be caused by other health conditions. The common ones are obesity, abnormal formation of joints, gout, diabetes and even hormonal imbalance.
Excessive weight, in the case of obesity, places undue strain on the cartilage. This is the second highest risk factor for degenerative arthritis after aging. As such, weightlifters are prone to developing degenerative arthritis of the knees at an early age owing to their body weight and the excessive strain they have to bear repeatedly.