10 tips to prevent arthritis!
Published Mar 3, 2023 • By Polina Kochetkova
Arthritis is an inflammatory disease, causing pain and swelling of one or more joints. In the United States, 24% of all adults, or 58.5 million people, have arthritis. It is a leading cause of work disability, with annual costs for medical care and lost earnings of $303B.
There are more than 100 different conditions representing Arthritis, yet there are three most distinct types of arthritis which develop and progress differently, however all cause pain and potential loss of function. The main types of arthritis are -osteoarthritis (OA), rheumatoid arthritis (RA), and psoriatic arthritis (PsA).
When every 1 out of 4 Americans has the condition, we can not help but wonder “Is there something we can do to avoid Arthritis?”.
Read this article to find out what we can do differently in our everyday life in order to prevent arthritis and better our health and lifestyle!
Living with arthritis can be challenging. Therefore today we decided to share with you 10 tips on how to prevent the illness and live a healthy lifestyle with less joint pain or stiffness, which usually come with arthritis. Hopefully, our advice can be helpful to you!
Consume more Omega-3
Omega-3 is an essential part of any healthy diet. Including healthy fats like Omega - 3 in the meals that you prepare or taking supplements can help with fighting back arthritis and not only. Omega-3 may have proven effects in reducing risks of heart diseases, mental health issues and inflammatory illnesses. Research shows that Omega-3 acids can potentially lower the levels of joints pain. The National Institutes of Health suggests consuming 1.1-1.6 grams of Omega-3 fatty acids a day, while the American Heart Association recommends eating two servings of fish (3-4 ounces) a week as part of a healthy diet.
Smoking is one of the most unhealthy habits that more than 30 millions Americans have adopted. This addictive habit negatively affects our body, putting our hearts and lungs at risk. Furthermore, smoking is strongly not recommended to anyone with arthritis or people, who would like to prevent it. Cigarettes boost inflammatory processes and contribute to the development of every type of arthritis. Smoking can negatively affect your RA treatment and make it less useful due to the high disease activity caused by smoking. Overall smoking is extremely bad for our bodies, and reaching out to the doctor or finding a support group can be a great step to quit this habit. For support in quitting, free quit coaching, free educational materials, and referrals to local resources call 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669).
Old injuries can be a huge cause of arthritis and not just a couple of weeks of discomfort right after the injury, as many think. Sometimes a joint does not heal properly after the injury and can cause a lot more pain with the development of post-traumatic osteoarthritis. Post-traumatic osteoarthritis is a form of arthritis usually caused by a previous injury and defined by pain or/and stiffness in one of the joints, for example, only one finger or knee hurting can be a sign of post-traumatic injury or post-traumatic osteoarthritis. Old sports injuries cause arthritis in up to 12 percent of adult patients in the US, according to NIH. In order to exclude this risk factor, do not forget to stretch properly before exercising and lower the chances of injury, as well as take time to heal after an injury and try physiotherapy to avoid arthritis in the future.
Pay attention to your weight
Maintaining a healthy weight is very important in order to avoid or ease arthritis. Extra weight puts more pressure on the joints causing more friction and potential pain. Based on studies, arthritis patients feel fewer symptoms after losing extra weight and staying fit. Dropping just one pound of weight can result in four pounds of pressure off the knees in people with knee OA. If you are looking forward to avoiding joint problems and arthritis, losing extra weight is a great idea, since it removes the extra pressure of our joints and reduce the chances of inflammation.
Watch your blood sugar
Arthritis and Diabetes are more related than you might think. Both are autoimmune diseases – which means your immune system mistakenly attacks itself. Research demonstrates that having inflammatory arthritis, like rheumatoid arthritis (RA), is related to an increased risk of both type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Studies show that patients with just one autoimmune disease are prone to developing at least one more later in their lifetime. If fact about 25 percent of people with one autoimmune disease later face at least one more. Therefore, if you wish to avoid arthritis, you should also watch your blood sugar levels to not develop Diabetes.
Avoid repetitive joint-damaging motions
When performing any sport, we must pay attention to certain factors, which might add up to arthritis development in the future. Repetitive motions like knees bending, heavy lifting, kneeling can cause joint pains and should be performed properly or reduced. Certain sport practices can also be harmful due to high pressure on the joints: tennis, badminton, soccer, golf, basketball, cycling and swimming. However, this does not mean that we should not exercise! Active lifestyle and exercising are a huge part of our well-being and should not be overlooked. Before performing any sport, stretching and moving your body is highly recommended to prepare yourself for the upcoming physical activity and decrease risks of injury, muscle pain and joint discomfort.
Check your vitamin D levels
Vitamin D is essential to our bones and joints' health. The main source of vitamin D is the sun, however, in some parts of the world, the lack of sun during winter months is more than noticeable. During colder months (from October to early March), the Department of Health recommends that everyone should consider a daily supplement containing 15 mcg of vitamin D. However before taking any supplements, it is important to talk to a medical advisor or a doctor. Studies show that vitamin D levels consistently connect to the development of osteoarthritis and most patients previously had a vitamin D deficit. Vitamin D helps with calcium absorption in our bodies and reduces inflammation, helping with easing joint pains and preventing arthritis. Make sure you get enough vitamin D to reduce the risks of bone or joint discomfort.
Drink more water
Increasing your water intake can help manage arthritis symptoms and lower the risk of developing arthritis. The body needs water to be hydrated, which is crucial for the health of the joints. Dehydration causes the body's joints to stiffen and hurt. Inflammation brought on by this can make arthritis symptoms worse. You can keep your joints hydrated and lower your risk of developing arthritis by drinking more water. Moreover, water helps the body remove toxins. The accumulation of toxins in the joints can lead to inflammation, which irritates the signs and symptoms of arthritis. By drinking more water, you contribute to the removal of these toxins and lower your risk of developing arthritis. Inflammation is a common symptom of arthritis, and it can be caused by a variety of factors. Luckily, water reduces inflammation and helps our bodies stay healthy overall.
Do flexibility exercises
Flexibility exercises are an important part of any exercise routine, but they are especially important for those who are at risk of developing arthritis. Stretching exercises can improve joint mobility and range of motion. Flexibility exercises can also help to reduce pain and stiffness, which are common symptoms of joint problems. This can help to improve the quality of life for those who suffer from arthritis. Some of the exercises, that can better joints mobility are:
- Single knee-to-chest stretches
- Ankle circles
- Torso twist
- Hip circles
- Arm raises
- Ankle circles
Maintain healthy sleep routine
Do you pay attention to your sleep? If not, this might be the time to start doing so! Our bodies and minds are recharged and restored when we sleep. Lack of sleep makes our bodies more vulnerable to sickness and injury, potentially resulting in arthritis. According to studies, those who don't get enough sleep are more prone to experience joint issues. This is due to the fact that sleep helps to lower body inflammation, which can manage to lower the symptoms of arthritis. Our bodies are more particularly prone to inflammation when we don't get enough sleep, which can intensify the signs of arthritis. Sleep also assists in hormone regulation, which can reduce the symptoms and effects of arthritis. Our hormones can become out of balance when we don't get enough sleep, which can cause discomfort and inflammation. Finally, sleep reduces stress, which can also help to reduce the symptoms of arthritis. Stress can worsen the symptoms of arthritis, so it is important to get enough sleep to help reduce stress levels.
We hope these simple tips help you to stay healthy and remember about your joints well-being!
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The Effect of Omega-3 Fatty Acids on Rheumatoid Arthritis, Ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
Smoking, Drinking, and RA, webmd.com
Consuming about 3 grams of omega-3 fatty acids a day may lower blood pressure, Heart.org
Can Sports Injuries Cause Arthritis?, Orthohealth.com
Exercise Physiologists Want to Debunk This Outdated Myth About Arthritis and Exercise, Once and for All, Creakyjoints.org
Weight Loss Benefits for Arthritis, Arthritis.org
The Effect of Omega-3 Fatty Acids on Rheumatoid Arthritis, Mjrheum.org
Impact of smoking as a risk factor for developing rheumatoid arthritis: a meta-analysis of observational studies, Ard.Bmj.com
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