Many people around the world deal with osteoarthritis. In fact, over 30 million people suffer from osteoarthritis.i Osteoarthritis can affect people's day-to-day lifestyle to varying degrees with pain, limited motion and other complications. Osteoarthritis is a serious (though manageable) disease. It makes sense that people want to find out how to prevent arthritis.
However, there isn't any one single way to prevent arthritis. When you have osteoarthritis, the cartilage in your joints wears away from use. Because osteoarthritis is caused by using your joints every day, there's no way to fully prevent arthritis.ii But there are arthritis prevention tips you can follow to take care of your joints and lessen the likelihood or severity of osteoarthritis. Read on for some tips on how to help prevent arthritis in your joints.
Take care of your joints
There are several ways you can take care of your joints as an arthritis prevention method. First of all, be careful to prevent injury to your joints, which can increase your risk of osteoarthritis.iii Warm up before you exercise and take it slowly when trying new physical activities. When exercising, make sure to listen to your body and stop if certain activities cause too much pain. Consult a physical therapist or trainer for the best ways to protect your joints when exercising. Low-impact exercises like swimming or cycling are also good choices that are mindful of joint stress.
Another arthritis prevention method is be mindful of repetitive actions at work. Try to maintain a good posture and avoid staying in one position too long if you work a desk job. Make sure your desk chair is at the right height and take regular breaks to get moving.viii
Regular exercise is another way to help prevent arthritis or to manage it if you already have it. It helps keep your muscles strong to support your joints as well as easing stiffness.iv Find exercises for arthritis pain relief for your wrists, knees, ankles and feet.
Eat a healthy diet
While eating a healthy diet may not directly affect your joints, it's important to eat foods that provide all the minerals and nutrients that keep your body working efficiently. Eating a healthy diet can help your body stay strong.
Monitor your blood sugar
You might not have known this, but high blood sugar levels can heighten your risk of getting osteoarthritis.v Arthritis frequently occurs with chronic diseases like diabetes, heart disease and obesity, and can make it harder to manage your conditions.vi
Keep a healthy weight
Extra weight can put more stress on your joints, especially weight bearing joints such as the knees and ankles. Keeping a healthy weight can help reduce everyday joint stress.vii Make sure to talk to your doctor about whether you need to lose weight and a safe way to do so.
Overall, taking good care of your body by exercising regularly, eating a balanced nutritious diet, keeping a healthy weight and practicing overall healthy lifestyle practices can help prevent arthritis. If you do end up with arthritis, these same activities can help manage your arthritis symptoms and pain. Explore our living with arthritis resources for more pain relief exercises and arthritis management tips.