While there’s no surefire way to prevent arthritis from affecting you, there are ways you can reduce your risk and delay the potential onset. If you’re lucky enough to have healthy joints right now, you should do all you can to avoid the pain that comes with arthritis.
There are some causes of arthritis that you can’t change such as aging, family history, and gender (arthritis is most common in women). There are over 100 types of arthritis and related conditions, and changing certain behaviors and circumstances can help prevent various types of arthritis.
Continue reading to learn more about what you can do now to reduce your risk of developing arthritis later.
Daily exercise will help you maintain a healthy weight, which is an important way you can reduce your risk of arthritis. Because your knees support your body weight, being obese can be very damaging to those joints. Being ten pounds overweight increases the force on your knees by 30 to 60 pounds with each step you take.
Perform low-impact aerobic exercises, like walking and swimming, to improve your overall health and reduce pressure on your joints. To maximize the benefits of exercise, add simple weight training and stretching to your program to strengthen muscles and maintain your flexibility and range of motion.
Diet and exercise can help you maintain a weight that’s not taxing on your joints.
Incorporate fish into your diet that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids which is a healthy polyunsaturated fat. Omega-3 fatty acids have many health benefits and can reduce inflammation in the body. Studies also show that women who eat fish regularly may be at a lower risk for rheumatoid arthritis.
Try adding fish such as salmon, trout, mackerel, and sardines to your meals twice a week.
Putting a lot of stress on your joints can cause serious wear and tear that can eventually result in osteoarthritis. Playing sports and sustaining an injury can severely damage the cartilage in your joints. These injured joints are more likely to develop arthritis even though symptoms most likely won’t show up until many years after an injury was sustained. About fifteen percent of people diagnosed with osteoarthritis might have developed the disease as the result of an injury.
Correct posture takes the pressure off of stressed joints and can help prevent arthritis in the spine, hips, and knees. Studies have also shown that standing up straight can boost mood and battle depression. Perfecting your posture can have a positive impact on your overall wellbeing and reduce your risk for developing arthritis. Improve your posture by performing exercises that strengthen your core muscles and keep your back straight.
While you may not be able to completely prevent arthritis from occurring in your joints, making these few changes will certainly help lower your risk factors for developing the disease.
For information about how rehabilitation and non-operative methods can help relieve your pain, click here to download our eBook, The Patient’s Guide to Non-Operative Care and Rehabilitation.