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How to Prevent the Most Common Type of Arthritis

How to Prevent the Most Common Type of Arthritis

Arthritis affects millions of people around the world. There are more than 100 different types, and the most common by far is osteoarthritis.

Sometimes referred to as wear-and-tear arthritis, osteoarthritis develops as your joints break down over time. Years of use wear down the cartilage that protects the bones in your joints. The bones start rubbing together, which triggers inflammation, and your joints get swollen, stiff, and sore.

No type of arthritis is 100% preventable, but you can do a lot to protect your joints throughout life. Our team at Manhattan Orthopedics specializes in joint care, and in this blog, we’re exploring a few ways to reduce your risk of osteoarthritis.

Maintain a healthy weight

Your joints — particularly your hips, knees, and feet — bear your body weight as you move. Carrying extra weight puts added stress on your joints, which can accelerate joint deterioration and osteoarthritis.

Maintaining a healthy weight takes that extra pressure off your joints, and it’s one of the best ways to prevent or delay arthritis. If you’re overweight, our team can help you make lifestyle changes to shed extra pounds. If you’re at a healthy weight, strive to maintain it through a balanced diet and regular exercise.

Get regular exercise

Overuse contributes to osteoarthritis, but regular physical activity is one of the best ways to prevent it. That’s because regular exercise helps keep your joints healthy and flexible. It also helps you maintain a healthy weight, and it’s good for your overall health.

Aim to incorporate a mix of aerobic and strength-training exercises into your routine. Try exercise for at least 30 minutes a day, five days a week. Be sure to discuss any new exercise routine with your doctor. If you have joint pain, ask about low-impact exercise.

Protect your joints

You use your joints countless times each day, so protecting them is essential. Use proper techniques when lifting heavy objects and making repetitive movements. Always wear supportive shoes and appropriate clothing for your task. Avoid activities that put excessive stress on your joints whenever possible.

For example, if you enjoy playing sports, consider switching to low-impact activities such as cycling or swimming, which put less stress on your joints.

Eat a nutritious diet

The food you eat impacts your overall wellness, and a nutritious diet can help prevent osteoarthritis. Focus on eating a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein.

Foods that are high in anti-inflammatory compounds, like omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants, can also help to reduce inflammation in your joints. If you don’t get enough of these nutrients in your diet, ask our team about the benefits of taking supplements.

Balance activity and rest

Regular physical activity helps keep your joints flexible, and you should avoid staying in one position for too long. If you have a desk job, take regular breaks to stand up, stretch, and walk around.

But remember that preventing joint pain isn’t just about staying active. It’s important to rest, too, so set a goal of getting seven to nine hours of sleep each night. If you experience joint pain, modify your activity or try heat and ice therapy to reduce inflammation.

Taking care of your joints is a lifelong task, and reducing your risk of osteoarthritis requires a combination of habits. Whether you’re hoping to maintain healthy joints for years to come or you’re looking for ways to manage worsening joint pain, our team is here for you.

Book an appointment at Manhattan Orthopedics in Astoria, Brooklyn, or Manhattan, New York, to get started. Call the office location nearest you, or request an appointment online.

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