Here is something you probably never thought possible: arthritis prevention. With over 80 percent of all people over 50 years old suffering from arthritis, you might think that it is just something that happens as you get older. Arthritis doesn’t set in immediately. You do not wake up with throbbing pain in the joints one day. No, it is insidious, creeping along and becoming increasingly painful throughout the years.
But this kind of arthritis, also known as osteoarthritis, is not normal. You can do something about it.
Learning More About Osteoarthritis
To begin, there are four kinds of arthritis: degenerative, infectious, inflammatory, and metabolic. The type we are talking about today is degenerative arthritis, which is defined by damaged cartilage. Whenever cartilage begins to wear out and thin, movement will become more and more challenging.
Once the cartilage is too weak to do anything, the bones may attempt repairing the issue, but this sometimes causes the bone to become misshapen.
How to Prevent Arthritis and Maintain Your Quality of Life
So, how do you combat something that shakes your bones and debilitates you with pain? Recognize the warning signs and follow the tips below.
1. Maintain a Healthy Weight
Being overweight or obese will put strain on the ligaments, tendons, and joints. The more pressure on those tissues, the faster they will wear out, leading to osteoarthritis. Therefore, losing weight is one way to prevent arthritis, because you reduce the amount of stress on your body and joints by using an osteoporosis diet plan.
Keep in mind that small lifestyle changes can help you drop a significant amount of weight. Make healthier food choices by consuming more vegetables and fiber. Exercise. Sleep well. All those things will help.
2. Drink Plenty of Water
Staying hydrated is important. Bodies are made mostly of water, so it makes sense that our joints and cartilage contain water as well. Dehydration will suck valuable water from tissues, including cartilage, and that accelerates erosion of the joints. This is one of the reasons why people get conditions like degenerative disc disease or osteoarthritis of the spine. Cartilage will dry out in the spine, increasing the pain you feel.
Focus on drinking at least 6-8 cups of water daily.
3. Get Enough Vitamin D
There have been studies that found that vitamin D is vital to cartilage and joint health. Without vitamin D, your body cannot absorb calcium. Another set of studies also found that low levels of vitamin D in the body are connected with hip and knee osteoarthritis. If you are worried about arthritis, you may want to take a vitamin D supplement.
Walking, swimming, biking, and other low impact exercises can help strengthen the muscles and joints in your body. Meanwhile, more high impact exercises, such as running, or contact or competitive sports like martial arts and soccer, will predispose some people to arthritic symptoms.
To prevent arthritis, you might want to limit high intensity exercises and do more low impact activities instead.
5. Avoid Injury—Play Smart
Injuries are a prominent cause of arthritis. Scar tissue can build up, cartilage disintegrates, and repeated stress fractures and other injuries all put you at risk of developing arthritis in the future. One way to avoid injury is to practice functional movement mechanics. Learn how to lift, bend, and move with more economy.
From there, you need to know your body’s limits. Do not push yourself to the point of breaking every single time you do an activity. Otherwise, you will literally wear yourself out.
Arthritis is extremely common, but that doesn’t mean it has to happen to you. By understanding the nature of arthritis and why it develops, you can start figuring out methods to prevent it. Eating a healthy diet and staying hydrating, maintaining a healthy weight, and practicing functional movement can help you reduce the risk of developing arthritis in your joints.