As people grow older, arthritis is one of the most common diseases they suffer from. Arthritis causes inflammation and pain in joints, or where two bones meet, and there are different types of the disease.
What Is Osteoarthritis?
Osteoarthritis, also known as wear-and-tear arthritis, is the most common form of arthritis. It causes the cartilage between your joints to degenerate and wear away. Cartilage is a tissue found between joints, and it serves as a cushion.
If too much of the cartilage wears off because of the disease, the joints rub against each other anytime you move, causing friction. That friction, in turn, causes pain and inflammation in the joints.
How To Prevent Knee Osteoarthritis?
While arthritis is common in older people, it does not mean that everyone will get it. There are some things you can do to keep yourself safe from it, including:
Maintain healthy weight: Obesity is one of the main risk factors of getting osteoarthritis. That is because the excess weight puts a lot of stress and strain on your joints, especially those that support the body like the knees and hips.
That stress could eventually cause the cartilage between the joints to wear down. If you are already suffering from osteoarthritis, losing weight and maintaining a healthy weight can help improve the symptoms.
Exercise: Having weak muscles and bones could increase your chances of getting osteoarthritis. For example, if the muscle that runs across the front part of your thigh is weak, you have a high chance of getting painful osteoarthritis.
To strengthen your quadriceps, experts recommend that you do wall slides and isometric moves. Exercising also helps to move your joints and reduce stiffness which could increase osteoarthritis symptoms.
If you experience pain after exercising, consider using cold and hot compress on the spot.
Avoid injuries: Getting a joint injury at a younger age increases your chances of getting osteoarthritis in the same joint at a later age. According to Joint Academy, if your family has a history of osteoarthritis, there is then a risk that you may develop it as well.
A study shows that a high percentage of the people who did not have hereditary osteoarthritis in their knees had injured their knee earlier in life.
To avoid injuring your knees when playing or exercising:
- Keep your feet as flat as you can when stretching to avoid twisting your knees.
- Do not bend your knees over 90 degrees anytime you are doing knee bends.
- Land with your knees bent whenever you jump.
- Wear shoes that fit you perfectly to ensure they offer maximum stability and shock absorption.
- Relax after vigorous exercises or sports.
- Do not exercise on hard surfaces.
- Warm-up before exercising or playing vigorous sports.
Whenever you notice a joint injury or pain in your joints, ensure you seek medical attention immediately.
Have the right diet: Although experts have not identified specific foods that prevent osteoarthritis, some foods can help reduce your chances of getting it and help with symptoms.
Omega-3 fatty acids, for example, help reduce joint inflammation, and vitamin D helps reduce the pain of knee osteoarthritis.
Keep an eye on your blood sugar: High levels of blood sugar increase your chances of getting osteoarthritis. If you are diabetic, have your sugar levels often checked and discuss with your doctors how you can effectively manage your high blood sugar levels.
While these steps could also help reduce the pain and other symptoms that come with osteoarthritis, you need to talk with your doctor about other more effective treatment options.