Arthrosis is a disease characterized by the deterioration of joints; it can affect the spine, knees, hips or hands and generally the joints that are most used or loaded. In addition to genetic causes and ageing, this disease can also be linked to environmental factors.

Professor Carlo Selmi, Head of Clinical Rheumatology and Immunology at Humanitas, guest at Obiettivo Salute on Radio 24, spoke about arthrosis.


The Causes of Arthrosis

“In addition to factors that are difficult to modify such as genetics, gender or age, the risk of developing arthrosis is also based on non-individual factors related to the environment. In particular, the use of joints: think of modern day writing and therefore of arthrosis that affects the hands, but also the obesity epidemic that increases the load of joints such as those of the hips and knees.

A recent study has evaluated the incidence of osteoarthritis in the various eras of human development and in this sense the discovery of the mummy Lucy has shown, thanks to a part of the basin intact, that at that time there was already osteoarthritis even if milder than today,” explained Professor Selmi.


Arthrosis or arthritis?

“A good part of the task of a rheumatologist is to identify whether joint pain is related to arthrosis or arthritis and therefore whether or not there is inflammation. Arthrosis is in fact a condition not related to inflammation, but more to the presence of a consumption of the cartilage of the joint that then leads to a stiffening of the same.

An adequate lifestyle with maintenance of the ideal weight is essential to prevent arthrosis. The data that suggested that high heel use or running was associated with this condition has not been conclusively confirmed to date,” the clinician said.


Treatments for arthrosis

“Having arthrosis is good news on one hand, because you don’t have arthritis, but on the other hand we also have far fewer weapons and far fewer drugs to treat it. In general, the treatment is based on pain relievers and possibly on cycles of anti-inflammatories, you can make infiltrations with hyaluronic acid and in more advanced cases prosthetic surgery is certainly a solution option,” said Professor Selmi.