Your Joints and Genes
Recently, there has been research conducted by universities and international healthcare organisations indicating that joint problems are, indeed, a hereditary problem. However, the fact joint pain is built into your DNA does not mean that you are bound to live a life of pain and suffering. On the contrary - with the right preventative treatments, you those who are prone to joint problems can do a great deal to stave off future problems.
First off, it is important to understand that humans’ bipedal anatomy is also partly to blame for our proclivity for joint pain. Other animals enjoy a more equitable distribution of weight across all of their joints. We, on the other hand, put much more strain on our hips and knees due to the way that we carry ourselves. This is why so many people have to look into joint replacement as they age. If we were quadrupeds, this would likely not be the case.
However, genetic makeup also plays an important role. In a study carried out at Tel Aviv University, researchers found that people who struggled with back or joint pain were likely to have relatives with the same problems. This suggested a hereditary link.
Not only that, more than 2,500 twins were examined - both fraternal and identical. Assuming that joint and back pain is genetic, the results were predictable. Compared with a control group of non-related pairs, one of a set of fraternal twins was three times as likely to experience back pain if their twin did as well. For identical twins - i.e. those who shared the same DNA - the risk factor doubled. In other words, if one twin suffered, the other twin was six times more likely to experience the same complications.
This study looked particularly at back pain, but it presumably applies to other joints in the body as well. If you live in a family that has to look into joint replacement surgery, then it is well worth your while to begin practicing preventative measures to make sure that you do not end up in the same boat as you age.
If your family history leads you to believe that you are at a high risk for joint problems as you age, consider the following tips to reduce your chances of suffering later in life:
- Consider gene-targeting DNA products, a relatively new innovation that allows people to hone in on negative genetic trains and reverse them.
- Keep in motion as much as possible, as using your joints is one of the best way to keep them healthy.
- Avoid stressful activities and high-impact exercises such as jogging; instead practice joint-friendly activities such as cycling and swimming.
Above all, if you have a high genetic predisposition for joint pain, one of the best things that you can do is schedule a consultation with an orthopaedic specialist who can review your family history and inform you of joint replacement procedures that are available to you. Doing this will help you stay ahead of any problems that may occur down the road.