What is arthritis?

Arthritis (संधिवात) is a condition where one or more of your joints have swelling, tenderness and severe pain. The common symptoms of arthritis are joint pain, stiffness, difficulty in movement and grating sound in joints, which typically worsen with age. Arthritis starts in when the cartilage (The rubbery soft cushion in the joints which absorbs shock for the bones and makes them glide smoothly, while we move) is damaged and slowly gets thinner and the completely wears away. When most of the cartilage has lost in the joint, it cannot protect the bones from damaging each other; we feel the friction happening inside it.

The commonest types of arthritis are:

1.    Osteoarthritis

 2.    Rheumatoid Arthritis

7 ways to Prevent Osteoarthritis

1.  Maintain good body weight

losing 1 pound of body weight reduces 4 pound of load on knee

Obesity is one of the most common and most important risk factors for arthritis. The extra weight puts more pressure you put on your joints, this results in more damage in your joints. Every extra pound of weight you have on is 4 pounds of pressure on the weight-bearing joints, like your knees and hips. If you lose weight it helps in decreasing load on your weight-bearing joints. Shifting on a low carb diet and adding adequate proteins in your diet will always help in losing that extra fat and preventing muscle loss. Change your diet and lifestyle will help you in getting that lean look, and making your knees better. So focus on losing those extra pounds and improve the biomechanics of your joints. To learn more about losing weight, visit www.dramolkadu.com

2. Avoid Muscle loss

The human body starts losing muscle as it ages. Everyone loses around 1% of muscle mass every year and it peaks at 40 years of age. So, once you are nearing your 50s, you have already lost a significant amount of muscle loss. 

WEAK muscles put a lot of stress on your joints and especially on your back and knees. So, one should always focus on preserving and rather, gaining muscle mass while aging. Adequate proteins in diet and strength training will be of utmost importance in achieving that goal.

3. Do non-impact exercises

knee strengthening exercises will help in keeping knee healthy

As per literature, some sporting activities may actually aggravate osteoarthritis and arthritis pain. High-impact exercises like long-distance running and contact sports put a lot of stress on the joints and worsen your arthritis. Walking, running, or jogging should be strictly avoided by patients who have knee pain or symptoms of arthritis. They must focus on strengthening their knee joints by doing some resistance training under expert supervision and focus to stay active and practice arthritis prevention.

4. Use better body mechanics

When performing routine chores at home or office, like lifting objects, how you bend your body, and how you use your joint matters. People with bad body postures can have a high risk of developing arthritis. Good ergonomic body postures take much of the stress of the joints. This helps with arthritis prevention by preserving cartilage.

 5. Avoid injuries

While getting involved in any kind of sports or similar activities, injuries always lurking dangers for everyone.  While no one wants to be sidelined by an injury, taking preventive steps helps safeguard your health today and may serve as arthritis prevention in the future. Avoiding injury will decrease the risk of developing arthritis later in life. So, it’s always advisable to focus on sports and exercises, which will be challenging, but safe. It’s also equally important to know your body’s limits.

It's wise to start any new exercise program gradually and overdoing it is always dangerous and there is a high probability of getting hurt. Proper warm-up before starting any sporting activity is very crucial to avoid injuries to the joint and it helps in preparing your body for the rigorous stress during playing. Similarly, stretching after playing a sport is of paramount importance to relax your muscles and avoid stiff joints. Stiff joints are more likely to undergo degeneration in the future and cause arthritis.

6. Check your vitamin D3 /Calcium

According to one statistic, more than 60 percent of Indians are deficient in vitamin D and which indirectly causes weak bones. It’s always advisable to keep a tab on your vitamin D levels is a smart move for arthritis prevention. Patients who have adequate levels of vitamin D have less progression of osteoarthritis. The exact mechanism is not known because of limited research. So, taking calcium supplements and Vitamin D3 supplements, as advised by your doctor, is a good step in preventing osteoarthritis. 

7. Stay hydrated

water keeps your body healthy and thats true for joints also.

The cartilage of joints consists of mostly of water that makes it a great cushion for the joints. Due to dehydration, water is sucked out of the cartilage making it slightly stiffer, so it is more easily damaged by wear and tear. So, better keep your cartilage supple and healthy by drinking water throughout the day. A daily 3-4 liter of water a day is very important for overall health. And now you have one more reason to drink lots of water.