How To Prevent Osteoarthritis From Occurring Later in Life

How To Prevent Osteoarthritis From Occurring Later in Life
Most of us know that osteoarthritis is very common in older people.
It is so common that millions of elderly people are being managed for it, either by taking daily pain meds or some supplements.
Osteoarthritis is also called degenerative joint disease. In simple terms, what happens is that the joint gets inflamed and cartilage that helps to line the surface of the bones in a joint are worn out, leading to symptoms like joint pain, stiffness, swelling and deformity.
It is a common cause of pain in elderly people, and its treatment causes a large financial implication for the economy.
Now, if you thought you shouldn’t pay close attention to this disease because it affects only seniors, you are very wrong. Many people do not understand that osteoarthritis starts way earlier when people are fairly young. Cartilage breakdown happens several years before the symptoms start to appear. Since cartilage isn’t generally lined with pain fibers, people may not realize that they are already developing arthritis until the cartilage is significantly worn down.
The decisions you make as a young person will go a long way to decide whether or not you’ll develop osteoarthritis.
I am sure you may be wondering what things you could do to lower your risk of developing this condition that causes chronic joint pain. Well, here are practical steps you can take.

1. Exercise Regularly:

There are so many benefits of regular exercise, and preventing osteoarthritis is one of them. Generally, low-impact exercises like riding recumbent stationary bikes and swimming could help. Exercise keeps your joints in top shape, significantly lowering the chances that they would degenerate early and badly.
Lack of exercise is a top risk factor for developing osteoarthritis.

2. Eat Healthily:

Just like exercise, healthy food helps you avoid arthritis. What is always recommended is a balanced diet that contains all the classes of food in appropriate proportions. Also, it has been observed that certain fish oils and nuts like soybean, walnut and olive contain omega-3 fatty acids, which has been shown to reduce joint inflammation.

3. Maintain A Healthy Weight:

Fewer factors raise a person’s risk of developing arthritis than being overweight or obese. Being overweight increases the pressure and weight a joint has to cope with, hence causing the joint to wear out very fast.
One simple index to determine if you are overweight, obese or of normal weight is the famous BMI (Body Mass Index). To calculate it, divide your weight in kilograms by the square of your height in meters. The result should be in kilograms per meter square.
This is how to interpret your BMI result:
  • BMI < 18.5- Underweight
  • BMI 18.5-24.9- Normal weight
  • BMI 25-29.9- Overweight
  • BMI 30 and above- Obese
Generally, you should discuss with your doctor about losing weight (if you are overweight), you should also involve a certified fitness coach and a dietitian to properly counsel you on ways you can shed weight safely.
On the other hand, if you are of normal weight, you need to take steps to ensure that you don’t become overweight by eating a healthy balanced diet and maintaining a good physical activity level.

4. Adopt A Good Posture:

Your posture matters if you want to avoid osteoarthritis. How?
Try to avoid certain body positions that put so much pressure on your joints. For example, if you need to pick up an item, don’t try to bend over to lift it, rather bend your knees, squat, then pick it. Try to adopt the easiest and most comfortable position when carrying out your daily activities. Try to keep it at the back of your mind that osteoarthritis has a lot to do with a breakdown of cartilages, so you must protect yours.

5. Avoid and Treat Injuries:

Many people who have several joint sprains and injuries are more likely to develop arthritis, especially when they ignore these sprains and not get them treated. You should try to see a doctor whenever you have problems with your joints because failure to do this can put you at risk of arthritis several years down the line. An ignored sprain can cause you to compensate by changing your posture or body mechanics, which increases the pressure other parts of that particular joint perhaps in your other limb.

You can use these 5 tips we have discussed to reduce the chances that you will develop osteoarthritis. Even people who develop it can still cope with it by taking medications or joint replacement.
Also, their quality of life can be helped by using assistive devices like using a seat when bathing, using a transfer bench to get across the bathtub, and using canes or walkers to help them walk without bearing much weight on the affected joints.
It is important to remember that this disease actually starts several years before any symptoms show, so you should try to follow these practical strategies to preserve your joint integrity and avoid developing osteoarthritis down the line.

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