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What Factors Make Arthritis Worse?

The pain, inflammation, and swelling of osteoarthritis can make daily activities a struggle. If you’re an arthritis sufferer, you probably know a lot about arthritis treatments. But why do some people have arthritis, while others don’t? Is there a way to reduce or avoid arthritis symptoms? Is it possible to avoid making arthritis worse?

There are some factors you can’t control. They include:


People may need joint replacement surgery at a young age because their cartilage cannot properly repair itself

In general, cartilage damage is difficult for your body to repair. That’s because cartilage has relatively few cells and a low blood supply, both of which are crucial to the body’s healing processes.


Torn ligaments in a joint can lead to instability and improper alignment, both of which can overload and gradually deteriorate the cartilage, worsening arthritis.

Bad joint alignment

Even with no injury, some joints are not aligned properly. This malalignment can overload one side of the joint, increasing the strain on the cartilage and breaking it down more quickly.

So, is there anything you can do to avoid making arthritis worse? Yes. The goal is to protect your joints by preventing your cartilage from being overloaded.


Obesity places extra stress on joints, gradually wearing down the cartilage. This breakdown is permanent, so even if an obese person loses weight later on, their joints will not fully recover.


The redness and swelling that accompanies an arthritis flare-up is caused by inflammation. In some diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis or gout, the body’s inflammatory cells attack the tissues of the joint. There are also instances in which a person has low-level inflammation throughout the body. Taking steps to reduce inflammation can help.


Infections inside a joint can destroy cartilage in a matter of days. If you have symptoms of a joint infection, see your doctor right away to avoid arthritis-worsening damage.

When to seek treatment for your arthritis

Arthritis doesn’t have to spell the end of an active life. If you are experiencing worrisome symptoms or persistent pain, the renowned arthritis specialists at Summit Orthopedics can help. We work with you to confirm a diagnosis and develop an appropriate conservative treatment plan. If nonsurgical treatments fail to support your lifestyle goals, fellowship-trained orthopedic surgeons will consult with you and discuss appropriate surgical options. Summit is home to innovative joint replacement options. Our Vadnais Heights Surgery Center is one of a select few nationally to receive The Joint Commission’s Advanced Certification for Total Hip and Total Knee Replacement.

Start your journey to healthier joints. Find your arthritis expert, request an appointment online, or call us at (651) 968–5201 to schedule a consultation.

: Summit has convenient locations across the Minneapolis-St. Paul metro area, serving Minnesota and western Wisconsin. We have state-of-the-art centers for comprehensive orthopedic care in Eagan, MNPlymouth, MN, Vadnais Heights, MNWoodbury, MN, Lakeville, MN and Eden Prairie, MN as well as additional community clinics throughout Minnesota and western Wisconsin.

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