Arthritis is a leading cause of disability in the United States, and it can be a painful and debilitating condition. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to reduce your risk of developing arthritis. Maintaining a healthy weight, avoiding sports injuries, and exercising regularly are all important steps in preventing arthritis. Additionally, understanding the risk factors associated with different types of arthritis can help you make informed decisions about your health.
Finally, discovering the triggers for certain types of arthritis may be the key to preventing them. Maintaining a healthy weight is one of the most important strategies for reducing your risk of developing arthritis. Extra pounds put pressure on weight-bearing joints, such as the hips and knees, which can lead to joint damage and pain. Regular exercise is also important for keeping your weight down and reducing stress on your joints. The Johns Hopkins Arthritis Center recommends doing two sessions of 20 to 30 minutes a week of strength exercises, with 8 to 10 repetitions of each exercise with weight or 10 to 15 repetitions without weights or with lighter weights.
Additionally, stretching at least 4 to 5 days a week and holding each stretch for 10 to 15 seconds can help keep your joints flexible. Avoiding sports injuries is also important for preventing arthritis. Wearing the right equipment, getting proper training, and playing safely can help reduce the risk of anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tears that often lead to arthrosis (OA). According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 50 percent of people who injure their ACL have radiographic signs of knee arthrosis within 10 to 15 years. Understanding the risk factors associated with different types of arthritis can also help you make informed decisions about your health. There are more than 100 different types of arthritis, but the three main types are osteoarthritis (OA), rheumatoid arthritis (RA), and psoriatic arthritis (PsA).
Each type develops differently, but all are painful and can lead to joint deformities and loss of function. Being a woman and having a family history of arthritis (genetic profile) are two examples of factors that make people more likely to suffer from some types of arthritis. Discovering the trigger for a type of arthritis may be the key to preventing it, even in people at genetic risk. The National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS) states that a combination of genetic and environmental factors triggers the development of rheumatoid arthritis. Current research may open the door to treatments and prevention measures to reduce or even eliminate some forms of arthritis in the future. Risk factors that are considered modifiable are behaviors and circumstances that can be changed to reduce risk, delay the onset, or even prevent arthritis.
Even if you can't prevent it, you may be able to reduce your chances of developing some forms of arthritis. A person can try several techniques to help prevent hand arthritis from becoming debilitating, such as squeezing an anti-stress ball or tennis ball. The Arthritis Foundation's JA camp programs give children with arthritis and related childhood rheumatic diseases an opportunity to create lasting memories. Additionally, the CDC Arthritis Program recognizes five self-management strategies for managing arthritis and its symptoms. Finally, the series of clinical trial forums on osteoarthritis features opinion leaders on osteoarthritis from around the world who discuss the future of how the disease can be treated to improve patient outcomes. Arthritis is a serious condition that can cause pain and disability.
Fortunately, there are steps you can take to reduce your risk of developing it. Maintaining a healthy weight, avoiding sports injuries, exercising regularly, understanding risk factors associated with different types of arthritis, discovering triggers for certain types of arthritis, and participating in programs like JA camp can all help prevent or alleviate symptoms.