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2nd part of our focus on Joint Pain examines the most common cause - Osteoarthritis

Posted by Eamonn Brady on

Joint pain Part 2

Osteoarthritis: the most common cause of joint pain


Osteoarthritis is by far the most common form of arthritis. It is caused by ageing and long-term wear-and-tear in the joints. After years of use, the cartilage that cushions the joints can break down, until bone rubs against bone.


It most commonly affects the knees, hands, hips, and spine. It causes more mobility disability in people over 65 than any other condition.

The condition is the number one reason for joint-replacement surgery. It occurs mostly in men after the age of 50 and in women after the age of 40. Being overweight and a family history of arthritis makes you more prone to the condition.

What happens?

Osteoarthritis occurs when the cartilage at the ends of bones becomes damaged. Cartilage is a hard, slippery, and flexible substance that coats the end of a bone which allows it to move smoothly against the next bone without rubbing together.

When cartilage is damaged the affected bone tries to compensate and repair itself by thickening and growing out. These outgrowths are called “spurs” or osteophytes. However, these outgrowths in osteoarthritis grow abnormally and make the problem worse. The bone can grow into an abnormal shape making the joint unstable & painful.

Risk Factors

  • Being over the age of forty
  • Women are more at risk than men
  • If you are overweight or obese as there is greater strain on the joints 
  • Playing a lot of high impact sport (eg.) Gaelic football and rugby
  • An injury or an operation on a joint
  • Some evidence it runs in families.

 1st Contact Physio

 1st Contact Physio with Chartered Physiotherapist, Kevin D’Arcy. MISCP. Located in the private consultation suite, upstairs at Whelehans Pharmacy, 38 Pearse St, Mullingar


1st Contact Physio services include sports injuries, spinal injuries, back pain management, neck, and shoulder pain, post operative physiotherapy, sports rehabilitation, orthotics and sports massage. Physiotherapy is €60 for initial session and €50 for follow up sessions, Kevin offers reduced physiotherapy rates for Medical Card holders, children, and sports clubs. Book your appointment on the Whelehans website or Call Kevin on 0873813473 or Email


For comprehensive and free health advice and information call in to Whelehans Pharmacies, log on to or dial 04493 34591 (Pearse St) or 04493 10266 (Clonmore).


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