Prevention is the key to not having lifelong health issues of many kinds. Hardly ever will there be a condition that something could not have been done to prevent it. The situation is no different with osteoarthritis, it is one of the most common causes of disability among adults. It is common for 90% of people to have some level of osteoarthritis in the area of their weight bearing joints, but they main remain asymptomatic (without symptoms) until they are much older. Osteoarthritis is a serious medical condition and efforts to prevent it, should be taken to maintain quality of life.
Doctors recommend 6 recommendations to follow in prevention of osteoarthritis:
Maintenance of Proper Body Weight
It is very important that a person works to maintain and appropriate body weight to prevent osteoarthritis. The larger and more overweight an individual is, increases the amount of pressure or stress placed on the joints. Excess weight on the joints will weaken the muscle.
Participate in regular physical activity
It is recommended that individuals perform 30 minutes of moderately strenuous exercise on the average of 5 days a week. Regular physical exercise has benefits for the body, don’t let the recommended about deter you, some exercise is better than no exercise by far.
Protect Your Joints
There are several ways to use joint protection principles to preserve joint functioning. Using proper body movements, good posture and recognizing signs of pain are simple steps that can be monitored to prevent joint damage.
Avoid Repeat Stress on Joints
Repetitive repetitions of activity or motion, can cause stress on the joints and lead to osteoarthritis in ones future. Many of these repetitive motions occur during the performance of our everyday jobs. Look for solutions to avoid prolonged periods or repetitive stress.
Don’t Ignore Your Pain
This may seem like a silly request, who doesn’t respond to pain when they feel it? Well, actually many people don’t they just overlook it and cope. It requires conscious effort to rest when your body signals that it is tired. Pain should be like a stop sign, a signal to stop and wait before you go any further.
It is imperative to avoid injury if possible, if an injury does occur it is best important to seek treatment immediately.
Hopefully these recommendations will give insight on what can be done hopefully to prevent osteoarthritis and its effect on one’s quality of life.
Sources: Osteoarthritis: What Causes it? Arthritis Foundation
Strategies for the Prevention and Management of Osteoarthritis of the Hip and Knee. Clinical Rheumatology February 2007