Osteoarthritis (OA) of the knee affects approximately 20 million Americans. It is characterized by pain, stiffness, and sometimes swelling due to inflammation and fluid accumulation.
Knee osteoarthritis is caused by cartilage deterioration within the knee joint. Factors that increase the risk of knee osteoarthritis include being obesity, age, injury, or stress to the joints. In addition, genetic factors play a role since a family history of the disorder can increase the risk of developing knee osteoarthritis.
A new study has shed light on another possible risk factor for OA of the knee. Low vitamin D levels may cause greater knee pain and difficulty walking in patients with knee osteoarthritis, according to research presented recently at the American College of Rheumatology Annual Scientific Meeting in Boston, Mass held November 6-12, 2007.
Recent studies have shown that vitamin D has a significant influence on the proper function of the musculoskeletal and neuromuscular systems.
In a two-year trial of vitamin D supplements and their effect on the progression of knee OA, researchers tested whether vitamin D deficiency at study entry was linked to pain and physical function in OA patients. Researchers studied 65 women and 35 men in their sixties who showed signs of having knee OA by measuring blood