Researchers investigate gender disparity in osteoarthritis occurrence
Osteoarthritis can cause intense pain, immobility and bunions, but why is it more prevalent among women?
Osteoarthritis occurs when cartilage around the joints begins to break down, causing pain and stiffness for the estimated 27 million Americans who have the condition. Additionally, it is reportedly the leading cause of disability in the country.
However, the medical community is still unclear on the underlying mechanisms of the disease, especially as to why it occurs more frequently in women, typically causing them more pain than in their male counterparts.
"Our study will be the first to explore if there are true biological differences which result in women having this increased disease burden," said Mary O'Connor, M.D.
Researchers at the Mayo Clinic are preparing to investigate the causes and mechanisms of osteoarthritis, focusing on the knee joint, in hopes of improving treatment for the condition.
In the meantime, individuals experiencing bunions as a result of their arthritis may want to consider using bunion splints or orthotics, which may help prevent or reduce the severity of bunions as well as hammer toe.