Preventing Arthritis: How to Reduce Your Risk

Arthritis is a painful and debilitating condition that affects more than 100 different types of diseases. It can cause joint deformities and loss of function, and is more common in older people. Fortunately, there are ways to reduce your risk of developing arthritis. Maintaining a healthy weight, exercising safely, and avoiding sports injuries are all important steps to take.

Additionally, stretching regularly and eating a healthy diet can help prevent arthritis. Finally, understanding the relationship between arthritis and diabetes can help you make informed decisions about your health.Maintaining a healthy weight is one of the most important steps you can take to reduce your risk of developing arthritis. Extra pounds put pressure on weight-bearing joints, such as the hips and knees. Low-impact activities like walking, swimming, and biking are great ways to stay active without putting too much pressure on your joints.

Additionally, strength exercises like lifting weights or using resistance bands can help build muscle and reduce joint pain. Be sure to stretch at least 4-5 days a week for 10-15 seconds each time.Injuries can also increase your risk of developing arthritis. Wearing the right equipment, getting proper training, and playing safely can help prevent anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tears that often lead to arthrosis (OA). About 50% of people who injure their ACL have radiographic evidence of knee arthrosis within 10-15 years.The relationship between arthritis and diabetes is twofold.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 47% of adults with diabetes in the US also have arthritis. People with arthritis have a 61% higher risk of developing diabetes.Risk factors that are considered modifiable are behaviors and circumstances that can be changed to reduce risk, delay the onset, or even prevent arthritis. Lifestyle changes like eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly, and avoiding sports injuries can all help reduce your risk of developing arthritis. The Arthritis Foundation's JA camp programs give children with arthritis and related childhood rheumatic diseases an opportunity to create lasting memories.Current research may open the door to treatments and prevention measures to reduce or even eliminate some forms of arthritis in the future.

Discovering the trigger for a type of arthritis may be the key to preventing it, even in people at genetic risk. The Arthritis Foundation focuses on finding a cure and defending the fight against arthritis with information, advocacy, science and community that change lives.Another exercise a person can try to prevent or alleviate arthritis symptoms is to squeeze an anti-stress ball or tennis ball. Even if you have a genetic predisposition, lifestyle changes can help delay the onset of arthritis or prevent you from developing it.

Jill Sizemore
Jill Sizemore

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