Arthritis is a type of joint disorder that involves inflammation of one or more joints. There are over 100 types of arthritis but the most common one is osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis can be the result of an infection in the joint, trauma to the joint or the natural aging process. Interestingly enough, many individuals under 30 can develop arthritis as well. Patients usually have to deal with constant, localized pain in the affected joint area. Let’s take a look at a few simple ways that can help us relive some of the pain and prevent arthritis.
Maintaining a normal body weight
One of the most common causes and risk factors for arthritis is excess body weight. The more pressure and weight we put on our joints, the faster they will wear out. If you are suffering from arthritis and have some excess weight it’s essential to reduce stress on your joints through a diet. Click HERE for 10 tips that will make you love your diet.
High heels are an arthritis risk factor
Humans were not meant to walk on the tips of our feet all day long, so it’s a good idea to avoid high heels as this tends to put a lot of stress on the toes and their joints. Wearing high heels every day can also make you feel a lot more tired at the end of the day, apart from the pain in the toes. Also, please try to remember that arthritis is a type of disorder that starts off slow, almost unnoticeable, but can turn very serious very quickly. The choices that you make today can affect you 5 or 10 years from now. Wearing high heels today is not worth endless nights of chronic pain in the future.
Avoid high impact exercises
Soccer, football, long distance running are high impact exercises – they put a lot of pressure on the joints and can ultimately wear down cartilage and thus lead to arthritis. But it’s not all bad news, non-impact exercises like swimming or biking allow you to stay active and protect your joints in the same time.
Improve your body mechanics
Do you know the difference between lifting with your legs and lifting with your back? Your joints surely do. Try to be cautious when performing hard physical tasks – avoiding stress on the joints can prevent arthritis by simply preserving cartilage. Lifting with your legs instead of your back is one of the best examples of good body mechanics, not to mention that lifting with your back can lead to other injury as well.
Avoid activities that can damage your joints or cartilage
There is a strong link between osteoarthritis and certain sport activities. You should basically listen to your body – if you do a certain activity and it causes even more pain, try to stay away from it and substitute it for something else. Know your body’s limits and start your exercise program with baby steps, there’s no point in overdoing it because it can backfire.
Vitamin D supplements can be an option
There is some correlation between osteoarthritis and Vitamin D levels and a simple blood test should be enough to figure out if you have a Vitamin D deficiency. If that’s the case, taking supplements can be an option, but you shouldn’t overdo it.
Drinking water is the simplest way to prevent arthritis
One of the simplest forms of arthritis prevention is staying hydrated. Cartilage is made up mostly of water so it’s a good idea to drink around 7 cups of water each day. If you are dehydrated, your cartilage can get damaged more easily and this can lead to another set of problems. Always keep a water bottle close by.
Avoid tobacco and alcohol
Excessive alcohol consumption can lead to a wide range of health issues, including arthritis. Alcohol dehydrates the body as well, so your cartilage will be more exposed to wear and tear. Smoking is also a risk factor for developing rheumatoid arthritis. You should cut back on your alcohol consumption, but don’t cut back all together – there are benefits to consuming alcohol, if you keep it down to a beer or a glass of wine a day.
Avoid refined carbohydrates and sugar
A diet high in sugar or refined carbohydrates can lead to inflammation of the joints. Excessive salt in your diet can do the same. The best thing you can do is avoid sodas, processed foods, candy and white flour in your diet.
Eat more Omega 3 rich fish
Improve your diet with fish! Certain types of fish such as Herring, Tuna or Salmon are very rich in omega 3 fatty acids. Omega 3 acids have a wide range of health benefits, including the reduction of inflammation in your body and protecting your precious joints.