Arthritis can affect a person’s overall function and mobility, which is the leading cause of work disability in U.S. adults. According to CDC, in the United States, 24% of all adults, or 58.5 million people, have arthritis.
Although arthritis is more common in older people, people in their teens, 20s, and 30s can also have this condition. Arthritis can affect all ages, races, and genders. The fact is, there is no sure way to prevent arthritis, but the risk factors can be reduced to avoid the early development of arthritis.
There are several lifestyle changes that you can do to avoid the early development of arthritis:
Maintain A Healthy Weight
Extra weight puts extra pressure on weight-bearing joints like hips and knees and losing the excess weight or maintaining appropriate weight can avoid this.
These help in reducing inflammation and reduce RA (Rheumatoid Arthritis) activity in joints. Foods like salmon, trout, mackerel, nuts, and seeds (walnuts, chia seeds, flaxseeds), etc., are rich in Omega-3s.
Try to do 30 minutes of aerobic exercise 5 days (at least 3 days) a week. Focus on low-impact exercises like walking, cycling, or swimming. Exercise can strengthen your muscles around the joints and with improved blood flow, it helps supply adequate nutrition and oxygen to the joint tissues to keep them healthy.
Control Your Blood Sugar Level
High blood sugar may lead to a constant state of low-grade inflammation in the body. They can also stiffen the tissue that supports your joints and make them more sensitive to stress, which can cause arthritis.
Reduce Repetitive Tasks
Some jobs, sports, and activities, put repetitive strain on specific joints. This can lead to wear and tear of the cartilage. Taking multiple small breaks between your activities and giving rest to your joints can help significantly.
Smoking is not only a risk to the heart and lung; it can also increase the risk of rheumatoid arthritis and leads to early arthritis development.
Injuries or even repetitive small impacts to your joints can speed up the process of wear and tear of the cartilage. The injury can be due to sports, an accident, or from not warming up before exercise, etc. So, always make sure to wear protective braces and warm up appropriately, to avoid injuring yourself.
Setup A More Ergonomic Work Space
In your home or in the office, make sure your workspace is ergonomically set as they can reduce the strain and pain on already sore joints from sitting for a prolonged length of time.
Treat Any Infection
Coughing and sneezing are not the only symptoms of being sick. Some of these germs can also infect your joints and cause arthritis, such as infectious arthritis, or septic arthritis caused by bacteria such as Staphylococcus Aureus.
People who often lift heavy weights, climb stairs, kneel, squat, and stand for a long period, are more at risk for developing arthritis than others. Using the right techniques and taking small breaks in between aggressive tasks and appropriate rest at the end can help you protect your joints from excessive strain.
People with a family history of arthritis, being a female, or growing old, have a high chance of developing arthritis. However, these small lifestyle modifications can potentially reduce the risk of the early development of arthritis or at least delay it. If you are someone with joint pain or stiffness, and range of motion issues, then consult an orthopedic specialist immediately and get it diagnosed.