Arthritis: What is it and how can I prevent it?

July 22, 2016 / Chandler Harris

Arthritis: What is it and how can I prevent it?

Each year, July is celebrated as National Arthritis Awareness Month due to the fact that over 46 million Americans are affected by arthritis—61 percent of them being women. The swelling and stiffness that arthritis victims notice in their joints occurs once the cartilage – that cushions their bones, and allows them to move smoothly – begins to wear away. Once the cartilage can no longer support the movement of their bones, they begin to feel the pain.

Although there are over 100 different types of Arthritis, the two most common are: osteoarthritis (OA) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA). While OA occurs from normal wear and tear, RA is caused by your immune system attacking the tissues of the body. The likelihood of getting arthritis grows with age, but it is not exclusive to the elderly.

The most common symptoms a person with onset arthritis will feel are: joint pain, stiffness, and swelling. If you are suffering from arthritis, you will also begin to notice that your motion range will decrease. Having your symptoms being the worst in the mornings is common.

Here are some prevention tips to help you reduce your risk of early onset arthritis:

Maintain and control your body weight

The more pressure you put on your joints, the quicker the cartilage will begin to wear away. Losing weight is the main prevention and treatment for the pain arthritis gives you.

Stay hydrated

Cartilage is made mostly of water, so when we are dehydrated, the body goes into shock and takes all the water from the cartilage.

Avoid Injury

For those who play sports, arthritis symptoms show earlier because of the constant injuries. When you continuously injure your joints, such as the knee, the cartilage will wear away quicker than it normally would have.

Ladies, trade in your heels

Your bodies are not made to be on your feet for long hours of the day. When you wear heels, they put an excessive amount of pressure on your joints.

Protect your joints

Always aim to use the best posture when doings tasks that use different muscles in the body (e.g. lifting boxes, working out, continuous up-and-down movement). When you become mindful of protecting your joints, you will notice less pressure on your bones.

If you feel as though you have arthritis or experiencing symptoms, contact your physician.

For more health tips, visit us on Facebook and Twitter!

Category: Physical Health / Seniors