Skeletons Say Osteoarthritis Isn’t About Aging, It’s About Activity

If you ask anyone the question, what causes osteoarthritis, you will get the answers that the bones are getting weaker because of a poor diet or it is simply because it is a result of aging. Now, these answers are not wrong, in fact they are so right that a new study was started on the current understanding of osteoarthritis and it might prove us all wrong.

The Commonly Believed Causes of Osteoarthritis

Millions of people around the globe are affected by osteoarthritis, from which 27 million are Americans. This disease is able to affect any joint in the body, but mostly it I experienced tin the knees, hips, neck, lower back, toes and fingers.

Who wouldn’t want their bones totally supported by their cartilages, it is a firm cushion that always protects your bones and allows the joints to move and bend very nice and smooth. And when you get osteoarthritis, the firm cartilage starts to break down, and as the bone grows it can tear the cartilage in pieces or the bone may chip off. So as the damage of the bones and the cartilage becomes worse, so does the inflammation and pain increase, because the contact bone on bone increases.

Trying to find the real cause of the inflammation or pain can be quite challenging, because it happens over the course of many years, sometimes decades. However it is most commonly caused by:

  • Joint injuries
  • Aging
  • Carrying weight
  • Genetic issues in the bone cartilage
  • Not properly formed joints
  • Stress from jobs or sports that require movements that are repetitive

Osteoarthritis has Doubled in Prevalence Since the Mid-20th Century

At Harvard University at the department of Human Evolutionary Biology, a postdoctoral research was opened in July this year, by Dr. Ian Wallace and his team. They have studied on more than two thousand skeletons from many different life periods.

The team of Dr. Wallace have been looking the skeletons, mostly in their knees. The skeletons were from the early industrial, post-industrial and the early 2000’s era, and also there were 176 prehistoric skeletons. With all these information he gathered, he told that the knee osteoarthritis is twice as common than it was in the middle 1900’s. But they still don’t believe that this is caused because people live longer or they are overweight.

Even when the whole team took in the fact that life expectancy is longer and the obesity is very common, but the rise of arthritis still occurs. The team was leaded to circle around the question: Are these the two factors that cause osteoarthritis, living longer and obesity? Dr. Wallace wouldn’t think so. So they came to a conclusion that the modern-life of today is causing the osteoarthritis and it is very common because of our inactivity.

Moving Forward (Without Joint Pain)

Dr. Wallace gave people hope in a way, because we cannot stop time and reduce the aging or prevent from it, but we can still be more active so we can prevent from any kind of osteoarthritis.

So, what do preventative arthritis activities look like?

If you are a starter use resistance bands and explore the zone of resistance training. These exercises are not hard to do, and don’t require going to the gym, you can do them at home. Using the resistance bands while doing the exercises is causing constant tension, so with that your muscles will strengthen.

Also people do these resistance exercises not only to exercise the muscles, but also they improve the bone density. People around the age of 30 tend to hit peak their bone mass, so after that they don’t have to worry about their health of the bones. But it doesn’t matter if you are under 30 or over 30 years, resistance training is very good for you and will help you maintain your bone health, overall health and muscle mass. Here is a video of the starter exercises you can do:

More Tips for Preventing Osteoarthritis

  • Strengthen your muscles around your bones
  • Exercises with resistant bands you can do at home
  • Make a habit for yourself of walking or running
  • Stay active if your job is requiring to stand or sit for a long time

Another sources linked in The Hearty Soul’s article:


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