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Preventing Osteoarthritis If you...

Posted Oct 07 2008 7:18pm

Preventing Osteoarthritis




If you have a family history of osteoarthritis then you have a higher chance of developing the disease yourself. Besides genetic predisposition, osteoarthritis can be present in those who are overweight or those who routinely put stress on the particular joint. Injury is also a culprit.



Osteoarthritis affects the joints in the body, most commonly the spine, hips, knees, feet and hands. It is caused by the wearing down of cartilage between these joints, causing bones to rub together. This causes discomfort and a decrease in mobility to the area.



Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis, affecting 21 million people in the United States. It can be caused by a number of factors. While it is more frequently found in those over 45, it can occur in younger people. Under 45, men are more likely to develop the disease than women, while over 45 women are more likely to develop it than men.



Fortunately, there are ways to prevent the onset of the disease, and it's easier than you think. It's about taking care of your body, which hopefully you're doing already as good health is the key to combating any form of disease, as well as education.



If you are overweight you are far more likely to develop osteoarthritis than someone who isn't. This is because the extra weight puts unnecessary stress on the joints. Keeping in shape also helps to prevent many other diseases, such as heart disease.



Keep fit, not only to keep your weight in healthy range but also to work your joints. Aerobic exercises that work as much of your body are especially important; they revitalize your circulatory system and keep your heart rate up, as well as keep your joints limber. Make sure not to over exert yourself, especially if you feel pain in a joint, as this may only cause to exacerbate the condition you are trying to prevent. Discuss with your doctor what kinds of exercises are best for you. Osteoarthritis in the hands is the most genetically predispositioned form of the disease, so if you are at risk ask your doctor if there is anything you can do.



Injury to the joints can also cause the onset of osteoarthritis. Be sure to wear protective gear, like wrist guards for instance, when deemed necessary.



There have been some foods and supplements that have been reported to decrease your chances of getting the disease. While some initial results have proved encouraging, studies are still continuing for conclusive results. None of the supplements have been reported to carry side effects though, and are part of a healthy lifestyle.



An anti-inflammatory is just what you're looking for. Anti-inflammatory properties can be found in Omega-3 fatty acids, which are found in fatty fish like salmon or albacore tuna. Since our North American diet is severely lacking in fish on a regular basis, try an Omega-3 fatty acid supplement such as Omega Daily.



Early detection is important. If you feel a recurring pain in your joints, or a stiffness that won't go away, talk to your doctor. He or she can help you find the best way to deal with the pain.

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