Thursday, May 30, 2024

Top 5 tips to prevent arthritis

Sumedha Sen (Sub Editor)

Arthritis is a health condition that involves swelling and tenderness in one or more joints that decreases range of motion in those joints. The symptoms of arthritis range from mild to severe joint pain and stiffness that worsen with age. The most common types of arthritis are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.

Osteoarthritis occurs when the hard, slippery tissue called cartilage that covers the ends of bones where they form a joint breaks down. On the other hand, rheumatoid arthritis is a disease in which the immune system attacks the joints, beginning with the lining of the joints. Here are some tips that help prevent arthritis:

1. Weight management

Being overweight is the major reason for many diseases and health conditions among people. Extra pounds put pressure on weight-bearing joints like the hips and knees. So, it is necessary to maintain a healthy weight to ease the pain of arthritis.

2. Consume Omega-3s

Omega-3 fatty acids are a type of polyunsaturated fat. Omega-3s help reduce inflammation in the body. Foods rich in Omega-3s include nuts and edible seeds. Research also shows that Omega-3s help reduce rheumatoid arthritis in the joints.

3. Exercise

Exercise not only helps to reduce the excess weight off your joints but also helps to strengthen the muscles around the joints. Exercises that include walking, jogging, and swimming build endurance. Some of the other exercises include:

· Strength exercises

Lifting weights using elastic resistance bands helps strengthen the muscles that support your joints. Try to do 8 to 10 repetitions of each exercise weighted, or 10 to 15 reps with no weights or lighter weights.

· Leg extensions

It involves sitting in a chair, straightening one leg, and returning it to its original position. Repeat this 10–15 times with each leg.

· Table pushups

It involves leaning with your hands against a sturdy table and then slowly bending your elbows to lower yourself towards the table. Press back up until your arms are straight. Repeat it daily, 10–15 times.

· Flexibility exercises

Exercises like yoga, stretches, and pilates keep your joints moving through their entire range of motion. This prevents stiffness and reduces your risk of injury.

4. Control blood sugar levels.

Arthritis and diabetes share common risk factors such as obesity, lack of exercise, and age. High blood sugar can stiffen the tissue that supports your joints and make them more sensitive to stress. High blood sugar may cause a constant state of inflammation in our body. This leads to the creation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) that trigger the production of inflammatory proteins called cytokines in the joints. Getting regular blood sugar checks helps prevent arthritis.

5. Quit smoking

Quitting smoking not only reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases but also helps protect against arthritis. Rheumatoid arthritis is an inflammatory disease that affects the immune system. It is necessary to quit smoking, as it leads to inflammation in our bodies. People who smoke do not respond well to arthritis medications.

If you do start to develop arthritis symptoms, then it is advisable to consult a doctor. Arthritis is usually progressive and can cause extreme conditions, meaning the longer you wait to seek treatment, the more destruction it can cause to the joints. Once you are prescribed the proper medications for it, take them daily without skipping them. Keep following us to get such health-related content.

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