Top 5 Tips To Prevent Osteoarthritis

December 29, 2010 by  
Filed under Osteo-Arthritis Articles

Raymond Geok Seng Lee asked:

The most common type of arthritis, osteoarthritis results in damage due to wear and tear on the cartilage of your bones. Healthy cartilage is smooth which allows your joints to move freely and tough, to act as a shock absorber between your bones. But in osteoarthritis, the cartilage breaks down in slow stages:

1. It becomes soft, frayed, and less elastic.

2. Large sections wear away completely, letting the ends of bones rub together.

3. As a result, your bone ends thicken, and the joints may change shape, grow spurs (bony growths), and develop fluid-filled cysts.

No one knows for sure what causes osteoarthritis or even if it is actually age-related, but heredity, obesity, injury, and overuse all appear to play roles in osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis can affect any joint in the body, but it is mostly found in the knees, spine, fingers, big toes, and hips. Men are especially likely to suffer from osteoarthritis of the hip.

Here are the helpful tips to lower your risk of developing osteoarthritis:

1. Exercise

It can be your best tool against osteoarthritis because exercise strengthens your muscles and works to keep your joints flexible. Exercise can also help you to maintain a healthy weight (or lose weight if necessary). Obesity is often considered a factor in some types of arthritis. However, be sensible: Don’t overdo high-impact aerobics such as running. And if a particular joint (for example, those in your knees, ankles, and feet) starts to suffer from overuse, change your exercise regimen. Try low-impact exercises such as walking and swimming and stretching exercises to loosen your joints, increase your range of motion, strengthen your muscles, and more important, relieve arthritis pain.

2. Protect your knees against injury during sports, starting in your teens

Wear protective gear such as knee and elbow pads when playing contact sports or other, riskier sports such as in-line skating.

3. Sit straight and don’t slump

Your mother was right! Good posture, whether sitting or standing, can help reduce the pressure on the joints, especially those in your spine.

4. Learn to perform your job without stressing your joints

If your job requires repetitive movement (such as typing) or movement that stresses your joints, be sure to vary your activities and working position as much as possible.

5. Safety First

Some safety concerns that may help to prevent osteoarthritis in your daily life, for example, wear a seat belt to prevent injury to your knees (and other body parts) in case of a car accident.

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