The number one cause of osteoarthritis is the natural aging process. Over time, our bodies dry out and become more brittle. This is especially true of the protective cartilage and synovial fluid that allows for smooth joint motion. These layers can eventually wear down to the point where the bone surfaces of joints are exposed, causing a high degree of friction.
The resulting joint inflammation is known as osteoarthritis. While no one can avoid the natural aging process, there are several risk factors that increase the chances of developing this condition in the hips or elsewhere in the body. Here are some common osteoarthritis risk factors:
- Poor posture or body mechanics, particularly among people who work a physical job
- Being overweight or obese can increase pressure on the hips
- Smoking, which can reduce circulation and damage the cartilage
- Eating an inflammatory diet, including processed sugar and saturated fats
- Living a sedentary lifestyle, which can cause muscle breakdown and cardiovascular degeneration
By practicing a healthy lifestyle and avoiding activities that place excess stress on the hips, patients can slow down the forces that lead to hip osteoarthritis.