Reducing Your Risk for Osteoarthritis
Just because you might have an older family member who has osteoarthritis, that doesn’t necessarily mean you have to resign yourself to the same fate. There are a lot of things you can do to either delay the onset of the disease or prevent it entirely.
Keep Your Weight Down
One of the highest risk factors of developing osteoarthritis is being overweight. When the knees, hips and weight-bearing joints are placed under too much pressure, the cartilage that cushions those joints breaks down. This leads to the excruciating, bone-on-bone contact that occurs with osteoarthritis.
Watch Your Blood Sugar
People with diabetes are at a significantly higher risk of developing osteoarthritis. The reason is the high levels of glucose in the blood leads to the stiffening of cartilage. Over time, that makes cartilage more susceptible to deterioration. Diabetes can also increase inflammation, which also damages cartilage.
The best way to keep your joints healthy and avoid osteoarthritis is to exercise regularly. Getting in some sort of moderately intense activity (just 30 minutes) five days a week will keep your joints flexible and healthy. It will also strengthen your muscles and provide those joints the support they need. Even if you just want to walk around your neighborhood or work in your garden, get out of the house on a regular basis.
Just make sure you don’t overdo it. Talk to your doctor about the best – and safest – physical regimen to follow.
Rheumatology Care of North Houston can help you stay at your healthiest. Schedule an appointment by contacting us online or calling 832.532.9779.