Can You Prevent Arthritis?
There is no sure-fire way to prevent arthritis from setting in. Certain genetic predispositions, as well as age and gender can play a role in your likelihood of developing arthritis. Still, your lifestyle, diet, and exercise habits can play a big role in the onset of arthritis, meaning it’s never a lost cause to try and keep arthritis at bay. In fact, there are a number of things you can do to help prevent the likelihood of it setting it in early, or even at all.
What Is Arthritis?
Painful swelling and stiffness in your joints, where two bones come together, characterize arthritis. There are over 100 different types of arthritis you can develop. Some are caused by loss of cartilage, while other forms relate to the inflammation of joints. When combined, all forms of arthritis make up the most common chronic illness Americans suffer from. What can you do to help prevent your chances of the painful, and often debilitating disorder?
1. Get Enough Omega 3s
One study published in the Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases reports that women who eat regular supplies of fish, high in Omega 3, are at a lower risk for developing rheumatoid arthritis. Certain fish are higher in Omega 3, such as trout, mackerel, sardines, and salmon.
2. Drink Plenty of Water
Water flushes out your entire system, keeping you fluid, healthy, and mobile in more ways than you likely realize when you take a sip. Water even makes its ways to your joints where it works as a lubricant, softening the shocks your joints are continually exposed to. Without enough water, cartilage is more likely to deteriorate due to osteoarthritis.
3. Eat the Right Foods
It’s not just Omega 3s you need in your diet, other important dietary options that help prevent arthritis include:
- Dairy products (milk, cheese, yogurt, etc.)
- Vitamins C and D
- Superfruits high in antioxidants, dark colored berries and fruits
4. Reduce Repetitive Activities
Making the same movements over and over can be incredibly hard on your joints and surrounding tissues, when injuries are able to build up they can lead to osteoarthritis.
Pay close attention to everything you do throughout the day, including how you sit, walk, type, or even fold your legs. It doesn’t take much, but if you do the same thing over and over it can eventually lead to damage. Sitting still for a long time each day is just as damaging as repeating the same motion over and over again, so make sure to get up from your work desk once every 30 minutes to keep your body healthy and limber.
5. Reduce Drinking and Quite Smoking
According to a number of different studies, drinking one glass of alcohol a day might help prevent arthritis, but drinking excessive amounts of alcohol is counterproductive to your health in so many ways. For one, alcohol in large quantities makes it more difficult for your body to absorb vitamins necessary for healthy joints.
Smoking is also known to lead to arthritis as it weakens the strength and health of your bones. Patients that already have arthritis and quit smoking see a difference in the way that their joints feel.
6. Keep Up With Your Weight
Being overweight is not good for your health, including your bones and joints. When areas prone to arthritis, such as your knees, are required to carry too much weight, your risk for arthritis pain naturally goes up. Did you know that even being 10 pounds overweight increases the pressure on your knees by 30-60 pounds with each step? (Learn More)
In fact, women that are overweight are four times more likely to develop osteoarthritis in their knees than women that maintain a healthy weight for their body frame.
7. Hit The Gym
Exercise not only helps keep your weight in check. It also builds muscles that take away some of the pressure and weight joints are otherwise forced to burden alone. Try mixing up strength training, flexibility and cardio for the most all around beneficial results.
Just be careful not to over do it. Injuries can lead to cartilage damage, causing joints to wear out quicker. Make sure to take the proper precautions when playing sports or working out, wearing appropriate safety gear and following recommended guidelines. To further help protect your joints from becoming damaged, a trainer can teach you the right ways to lift weights, jog, and do other activities.
Arthritis Treatment Is Important
At the first signs of arthritis you should visit the doctor to form a treatment plan and prevent your symptoms from worsening. If you ignore arthritis pain, the problem will only worsen, causing more damage to your joints.
If you are concerned about arthritis, visit Urgent Medical Center today.