Osteoarthritis is a serious condition affecting many Americans. Progression of this disease is painful, discouraging, debilitating. It can be easy to withdraw from daily activities due to pain and depression or anxiety. Luckily, there are ways to prevent the progression of Osteoarthritis. This article discusses what you can do to stay the course of your arthritis.
- Control Your Weight. Extra weight can be extremely hard on your joints and lead to a faster progression of osteoarthritis. If you are at a healthy weight, maintaining that weight is extremely important for your health and to prevent progression. If you are overweight, losing those pounds is the best thing you can do for your arthritis pain. Weight bearing joints such as the hips, knees, and ankles are particularly hard pressed by any excess weight. Being overweight or obese increases your risk of developing osteoarthritis as well as worsening your symptoms.
- Exercise. While physical activity may be painful for those with osteoarthritis, exercising is one of the best things you can do to prevent the progression of the disease. It not only helps maintain weight, it also increases endorphin production and can make people happier. If you are worried about pain after exercising, heat treatments increase blood circulation to the affected joints and cold treatments reduce inflammation. The best forms of exercise are those that place the least amount of stress on the joints. Running is stressful on joints, so it is not recommended. However, light walking, bicycling, swimming, and light weight lifting are easier on the joints.
- Healthy Diet. There is no osteoarthritis-specific diet, but eating healthily can prevent weight gain and improve overall health. In addition, there are some nutrients which are known to reduce the severity of osteoarthritis symptoms.
- Vitamin D: Add this important nutrient to your diet through eggs, fortified milk, and fatty fish such as salmon, tuna, and herring.
- Omega-3 Fatty Acids: These are healthy fats which reduce inflammation in joints. Add them to your diet through fish oils and plant or nut oils.
- Vitamin C: This nutrient can slow the progression of osteoarthritis symptoms. To receive the benefits of vitamin C add citrus fruits, tomatoes, broccoli, strawberries, sweet potato, and leafy greens to your diet.
- Avoid Injuries or Treat Them Promptly. A joint injury can greatly increase your risk of developing osteoarthritis in that joint further down the road. There are some steps you can take to prevent further injury or added osteoarthritis pain to the joint.
- Warm up before any physical activity. Get the blood moving before engaging in your exercise regimen and get in some good stretching.
- Cool down and stretch after physical activity.
- Use a brace if necessary to stabilize joints and prevent further injury.
- Exercise on soft surfaces to ease the strain on your joints.
- Wear well-fitting shoes with excellent stability and shock absorption features.
Preventing the progression of Osteoarthritis starts with you.
You can make lifestyle changes and choices which benefit your overall health and ease joint pain and swelling. Make sure to consult with your doctor about your individual needs and how you can apply the steps outlined above to your own life and schedule. You can prevent your Osteoarthritis from worsening.