Osteoarthritis (OA) in the knee is one of the most frequent causes of physical disability affecting 80% of people over the age of 65 years. Although many people believe that their joints will automatically degenerate as they age, there are those in their 60s and 70s who are joint trouble free. At the same time, there are 40-somethings who suffer from joint aches, pains and stiffness especially after a sporting activity.
The reason is when our joints are overstrained, certain enzymes are released to fix the damages incurred. Before the joints can be rebuilt and repaired, it first needs to be broken down to allow a joint remodelling process to happen. To achieve this, enzymes known as Matrix Metalloproteinases (MMP enzymes) are released into the joints.
When MMP enzymes fail to “switch off”, that is when joint problems and arthritis develop, causing prolonged and persistent damage.
The enzymes also worsen inflammation in the joints which contribute to symptoms such as pain, stiffness, and swelling.