Osteoarthritis Prevention

Osteoarthritis is one of the most common forms of arthritis that occurs. When you have this disease, the cartilage that covers the bones in your joints begins to break down, causing bone-to-bone contact that results in joint pain. Overtime it can even cause the joint to become misshapen, making motion difficult, and causing even more pain. There are however, many ways to keep osteoarthritis at bay.

The best way to prevent this disease is to maintain a healthy lifestyle by getting plenty of exercise and keeping a healthy weight. When you're overweight, it puts more stress on your joints and accelerates the wearing away of your cartilage, especially in your legs and lower body. Exercise helps you because strong muscles, especially the quadriceps found in your thighs, decrease the risk of osteoarthritis in your legs. The best exercises for your quadriceps are wall slides and isometric moves. The best preventative exercises for the rest of your body are those that put the least amount of weight on your joints, such as bicycling, yoga, tai chi, and swimming. You can even lift light weights, though if you're showing signs of osteoarthritis you should consult your doctor before doing so.

Another tip is not to overdo any physical exertion. If you get injured when you're younger, it can increase the chances for osteoarthritis when you're 65 and older, sometimes by as much as 5 times the normal rate. Good ways to keep yourself from getting injures include doing warm-up exercises before participating in any sports, avoid running on hard surfaces such as asphalt, cooling down after exercise, and wearing good running shoes that fit you properly. You should also avoid too much repetitive stress on your joints, which is indicated by bad posture, muscle fatigue, and too many uninterrupted repetitions of motion. Ways to avoid this stress include sitting up straight at your desk, and changing up your daily routine every once in a while.

A healthy diet also keeps this disease at bay. Omega-3 fatty acids like those found in fish oils can help reduce joint inflammation, though if you can't eat fish, these fatty acids are also found in oils such as canola, walnut, olive, and flaxseed. Vitamin C intake has been shown to help reduce the progression of this disease, and it's east to get more Vitamin C in your diet by eating citrus fruits, cantaloupe, green peppers, strawberries, sweet potatoes, broccoli, and leafy greens. Vitamin D will also slow the disease's progression, and to get it you just need to eat more eggs, vitamin D-infused cereals, and fatty fish such as salmon or tuna. You can also get it naturally from being out in the sunlight when you exercise.

Last Updated: April 18, 2018