It is very important to prevent osteoarthritis. In adulthood, this disease is one of the most common causes of disability, and the risk of developing it increases with age. 90 percent of people with weight-bearing joints, including the knees, hips, legs, and back, suffer from osteoarthritis by the age of 40, but remain asymptomatic until they reach old age. 70% of people over the age of 70 have osteoarthritis, according to X-rays.
The cartilage between the bones protects them, and if it breaks, it can cause pain, swelling, and limited mobility in people with osteoarthritis.
How to prevent osteoarthritis?
1. Maintain a healthy weight
As a result of obesity and overweight, the joints are put under a lot of stress and can easily be ruined. Walking applies a force of 3 to 6 times the body weight to the knees. While walking, if you are 4.5 kg overweight, the force exerted on your knees will increase by 13.5 to 27 kg. Approximately three times the body weight is applied to the pelvic bone.
You may feel fatigued and constantly tired after losing weight. The pressure on your knees will decrease by about 18 kg if you lose only 4.5 kg.
2. Maintain a healthy blood sugar level.
Diabetes can cause hyperglycemia, which can cause cartilage to become hard and weak. Under stress, this makes the cartilage more likely to break down. As a result of the increased inflammation throughout the body, diabetes can also damage cartilage.
It is important to follow your doctor’s instructions on how to control diabetes in order to prevent osteoarthritis. Take your medication as directed by your doctor, eat a healthy diet, and exercise regularly to keep your blood sugar under control.
3. Be physically active.
By reducing the risk of diabetes and keeping the weight within the right range, exercise prevents osteoarthritis. Physical activity also releases synovial fluid into the joints, which helps nourish cartilage and reduce friction between joints.
It is recommended that you do 30 minutes of relatively intense exercise five days a week at least to keep your joints healthy. Regular physical activity helps maintain good mental and physical health. Getting even a little exercise can do wonders.
4. Exercise your muscles
Body-strengthening exercises such as swimming, barbells, and weight training strengthen the muscles. This allows muscles to better support joints and stop or slow down cartilage fractures. Muscle strength reduces the risk of osteoarthritis because it prevents sudden damage to the joints of the body. The muscles around joints that support the weight of the body, such as the knees, buttocks, and ankles, need to be developed and maintained.
5. Consume fish regularly.
Omega-3 fatty acids are abundant in fatty fish such as salmon and tuna. By reducing inflammation, omega 3 helps maintain joint health and prevent osteoarthritis. Researchers consider rheumatoid arthritis or rheumatism an inflammatory disease among the different types of rheumatoid arthritis. It is important to know, however, that inflammation is not limited to rheumatism, and that it can also worsen symptoms of osteoarthritis.
6. Take care of your joints
Osteoarthritis can be prevented by taking good care of your joints. Keeping your body in good shape, doing various activities correctly, and paying attention to body signals (such as pain) can help keep your joints healthy.
Whether you play golf, run, or play the piano, you need to do all of these activities properly so that your joints are not damaged. Even a small error can hurt you in the long run. Make sure you are doing the right thing by getting help from a coach, teacher, or physiotherapist.
7. Do not put pressure on your joints repeatedly.
Moving a tennis racket repeatedly and without interruption is one of the most common causes of osteoarthritis, which can gently destroy cartilage. It is likely that people who work in agriculture, firefighting, forestry, or mining, who frequently lift heavy objects or climb stairs, will develop osteoarthritis.
Reduce repetitive activities at work to prevent osteoarthritis. Stop exercising after a while so your body can rest and heal, and apply ice to painful areas to reduce inflammation. Exercises and movements taught by a physiotherapist can prevent injuries that lead to osteoarthritis.
8. Start exercising by warming up.
To minimize the risk of injury, it is best to warm up and relax your muscles, ligaments, tendons and joints prior to performing any physical activity. Before exercising, walk or sit still. It only takes five to ten minutes and costs the least to prevent injury and osteoarthritis.
9. Increase the intensity of new activities gradually.
Give your body time to adjust to an activity that you have not done before. Depending on what you are doing, you can gradually increase the speed, time, intensity, and degree of difficulty. Evaluate your body’s response at each step to prevent sudden or gradual cartilage damage.
10. Combine different exercises.
Exercise can prevent repetitive movements that can lead to osteoarthritis. Swim or cycle instead of running every day, for example. You can also try weighing yourself to increase your strength or doing yoga to improve your flexibility and balance. Diversifying your exercise routine will both increase your motivation and prevent injury.
11. Pay attention to your body.
Despite the fact that this advice sounds obvious, a lot of people ignore the pain in their bodies. You should learn to treat pain as a sign that you have overworked and need to rest.
Joint health requires a balance between physical activity and rest. Take care not to overwork your joints. When you feel pain, stop. Exercise-induced pain can be relieved by resting and using ice, but you should consult your doctor first.
12. Wear the right shoes.
Osteoarthritis of the knee affects two-thirds of women. High heels put a lot of pressure on the front and back of the knees. Osteoarthritis can be prevented with light, flexible, and high-heeled shoes.