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Evolution of osteoarthritis

What caused the spike in osteoarthritis

Since the postindustrial era, the prevalence of osteoarthritis (OA) has had a sharp increase. Was this due to increase in obesity or trauma, they certainly play a factor, but according to Wallace and Lieberman’s research in “paleo-epidemiology.” , there is another correlation that deserves more focus.

When studying the bones from prehistoric to industrial eras, in comparison to postindustrial, he found that there was a higher prevalence of OA in both knee joints from the bones in the postindustrial era. This is peculiar, since most OA is unilateral, especially when caused by trauma.

His hypothesis, a shift to a more sedentary life style has reduced the strength and pliability of the muscles and joints of the knee, which benefit from regular exercise.

Underlying the research, Lieberman explains, is a suspicion that OA is a case of human physiology being partly maladapted to modern environments.

In an earlier post, I summarized suggestions from two doctors, who discuss alternatives to TKR (total knee reconstruction). Among the recommendations were exercise, physical therapy and acupuncture. This included a study from the 2015, 8th issue in Anhui Medical and Pharmaceutical Journal, in which acupuncture and moxibustion were better at alleviating knee pain than NSAIDs.


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