Updated: Jul 18, 2022
Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common type of arthritis. It causes pain and inflammation in joints and is also known as degenerative joint disease or wear-and-tear arthritis.
In OA, the cartilage in your joints wears away. Cartilage covers the ends of bones and acts as a cushion. If too much cartilage wears away, bone rubs against bone. The joint changes in OA cause pain, stiffness, and trouble with movement.
The Can You Prevent OA?
OA is a result of using your joints every day. The older a person gets, the more wear-and-tear happens. You can’t fully prevent OA. But you can help lessen daily stress on your joints. This can make it less likely that OA will happen or get worse. Taking good care of yourself can help prevent joint problems.
Keep a Healthy Body Weight
Extra weight puts stress on your joints. It can most hurt your hips, knees, ankles and feet. And extra fat causes changes in the cartilage. If you are overweight, talk with me about safe ways to lose weight.
Control Your Blood Sugar
High blood sugar levels raise your risk of getting OA. If you have diabetes, get your blood sugar levels checked regularly. Talk with me about ways to manage your levels if they are too high.
Be Active Everyday
Exercise is a good way to prevent joint problems. It helps to keep joints from getting stiff. It keeps muscles strong. It’s also an important part of treating arthritis. Try to get at least 30 minutes of exercise on most days.
Prevent Injury to Your Joints
Joint injuries increase your risk of getting OA. When you exercise, start slowly and work up to your goal. Each time you exercise, take 5 to 10 minutes to warm up with gentle movements and stretches. This helps to prevent injuries to muscles, joints, ligaments, and tendons.
Think about changing your exercises and activities each day. You will use different parts of your body. This will help prevent stress to the same joints every day.
Be careful with your daily activities. Some activities put extra stress on joints. For instance, carry heavy bags of groceries close to your body in the crook of your am instead of holding them with your hands.
Use exercise equipment and protective gear as instructed. Make sure your safety gear is comfortable and fits well.
What's the Outlook for OA?
Although there is no cure for osteoarthritis, there are many ways to prevent it and relieve and manage its symptoms. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle with low-impact exercise, getting plenty of rest and enough sleep, and maintaining a healthy diet and weight are simple ways you can reduce and manage OA symptoms so that you can live a healthy and fulfilling life.