Osteoarthritis: “There is no age to take care of your joints”

Osteoarthritis: “There is no age to take care of your joints”
Osteoarthritis: “There is no age to take care of your joints”

Professor Yves Henrotin, you are the head of the Physiotherapy and Functional Revalidation Department at the Vivalia hospital in Marche-en-Famenne and founding president of the Osteoarthritis Foundation. Can you explain what osteoarthritis is?

It is a degenerative pathology affecting the joints. It is mainly characterized by a progressive loss of cartilage. It causes chronic pain, especially with movement, cracking, stiffening and deformation of the joints. Osteoarthritis is also a risk factor for many other diseases associated with aging, such as type II diabetes, hypertension and cardiovascular diseases. It is therefore a complex, disabling disease that considerably affects the quality of life of those who suffer from it.

Does this pathology affect a significant part of the population?

In Belgium, it is estimated that one million people are affected, including around 60% women, and the situation will get even worse in the coming years. In fact, it is estimated that 1.4 million Belgians will be victims by 2050. The figures are also exploding on a global scale. It is estimated that by 2050, one billion people around the world will suffer from it. These are staggering figures which show that this is more than ever a societal issue.

Contrary to popular belief, osteoarthritis does not only affect the elderly?

The prevalence of osteoarthritis increases sharply after age 45, but this disease can affect younger people. We don’t talk about it enough, but you should know that 36% of patients suffering from osteoarthritis are under 40 years old. Hence the importance of constantly practicing prevention. There is no age limit for taking care of your joints. I recommend doing a little muscle and joint check-up from the age of 45.

What are the causes of osteoarthritis?

The exact causes of osteoarthritis are still poorly understood, but there are risk factors that will promote its appearance and progression. These mainly concern aging, sports or occupational trauma, a sedentary lifestyle and obesity.

Are certain professions or sporting activities more at risk?

Certain professions expose you to a greater risk of developing osteoarthritis. Some of them require carrying heavy loads, like movers, or repeated bending of the knee, like tilers, and therefore promote osteoarthritis of this joint. Certain sports can also lead to an increased risk of osteoarthritis, particularly if you return to practice too quickly after an injury or after too long a period of inactivity.

How to prevent and treat osteoarthritis?

Unfortunately, there is currently no medical treatment to treat this condition but it is possible to put in place measures to help the patient return to activity but also slow the progression of the disease. In particular via support from a physiotherapist. Prevention, I repeat, is essential. Fortunately, it is possible to act on some of these risk factors, for example by having a healthy lifestyle. You should monitor your diet, control your weight and do physical exercises regularly. Thirty minutes of walking is recommended each day.

Professor Yves Henrotin surrounded by the organizers of the CCPH conference on osteoarthritis: Sabrina Deprez and the Marche alderwoman for Health Carine Bonjean. ©EDA

A conference on Tuesday June 4 at the MCFA

The Consultative Council for the Promotion of the Vivalia Hospital of Marche, initiated by the City of Marche, is organizing a conference on this subject next Tuesday, June 4, at 7 p.m., in the performance hall of the Famenne cultural center -Ardenne (MCFA) in Marche. This conference will be hosted by Yves Henrotin, head of the physiotherapy and revalidation department at the Vivalia hospital in Marche, professor at the University of Liège and founding president of the Osteoarthritis Foundation, but also by Marc Delwaide, dietitian-nutritionist specializing in geriatrics, expert from the Superior Health Council and nutrition referent at the AVIQ… The introduction will be provided by Céline Mathy, delegated presenter and founder of the Osteoarthritis Foundation.

These interlocutors will answer the following questions concerning osteoarthritis: what sport can I practice? How useful are food supplements? How can I manage my pain? Should I follow a special diet? When should you consider fitting a prosthesis? Etc.

Information: 0468/38 19 82, 084/32 69 94 or [email protected]



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