Educating Yourself about Arthritis Management

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Arthritis is a blanket term used to describe a myriad of different conditions and health factors. Because there are many different types of arthritis, it’s difficult to discuss specific preventive methods. However, there are lifestyle changes that anyone who is at risk for developing arthritis can implement to help prevent the disease from occurring, or at least minimize its severity.

Selective focus on a joyful woman smiling while lunging with a group of elderly ladies while all taking an exercise class at a fitness club

Knowing all you can about arthritis can help you do more to prevent the disease from occurring. By understanding what causes it, the risk factors associated with it, and the lifestyle changes necessary for living with arthritis, you arm yourself with knowledge. Similar to anything else in life, knowledge is the best weapon to have.

Are You at Risk for Arthritis?

Arthritis is a term used to describe a variety of conditions and disease that cause redness or swelling in one or more joints. Common symptoms are stiffness and joint pain, which can get worse with time. The two most common types are rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis.

Rheumatoid arthritis is known as a chronic inflammatory disorder that affects the small joints in the feet and hands. Osteoarthritis occurs from normal wear and tear. Other types may occur from lupus, psoriasis, infections, and uric acid crystals.

This condition may interrupt daily activities by causing constant pain, which leads to needing treatment. Treatments can vary, depending on the type of arthritis. The main purpose of treatment is to improve quality of life and to decrease symptoms. However, there are certain factors that put people at risk for arthritis, such a family history, age, sex, injury, and obesity.

Family History

Certain types of arthritis are genetic. If you have a sibling or parent with arthritis, then you are more likely to develop the condition. Patients with a family history have genes that are more susceptible to environmental factors that trigger the condition.

Age

Many types of arthritis, such as gout, rheumatoid arthritis, and osteoarthritis increase over time. Rheumatoid arthritis can occur in young people and adults, but usually occurs in people over 40. For example, a teenager who hurts a knee may develop arthritis in that same knee after becoming an adult.

Sex

Rheumatoid arthritis affects women at a higher rate and gout affects men at a higher rate. This disease affects men and women differently. The majority of the people with rheumatoid arthritis are women. Men usually develop the disease much later and not quite as severely.

Injury

A previous joint injury may cause arthritis. Athletes are constantly getting injuries because of playing a competitive sport. If a basketball player tears his meniscus from bumping knees with another player, then there is the possibility of him or her developing arthritis.

Obesity

Obesity causes excess pounds to weigh down on the spine, knees, and hips. If you are overweight, it can increase your chances of developing the condition. You can decrease your chance of getting the disease with diagnosis and by living a healthy lifestyle.

If you are experiencing pain in your joints, it is usually a sign that something is wrong. A doctor can tell you if you have arthritis and what to do about it. Some groups are more likely to develop arthritis but the disease can be treated.

Get Plenty of Exercise

Exercise is one way to improve your overall health. There’s no set type of physical activity that’s right for everyone, but medical professionals recommend you try for 150 minutes of moderate activity each week to maintain optimum health.

Physical activity helps prevent arthritis in that it helps you to manage your weight and damage to your joints that can cause or exacerbate arthritis symptoms. The key to getting good exercise is to do something you enjoy, try to change it up regularly, and to practice using all the necessary safety precautions.

Coping With Arthritis Through Exercise

Exercise has many benefits when it comes to preventing arthritis. When individuals begin to engage in exercise, they have the opportunity to gain extra strength and increase their flexibility. Exercise has also been known to reduce the pain that often occurs in the joint. Many people who suffer from arthritis do not wish to exercise because they are worried that it may cause more pain; however, moderate exercise will allow any pain to subside and it will help individuals maintain a healthy weight.

Types of Exercise

There are many types of exercise that will prove beneficial to arthritis sufferers. The key to finding the right exercise depends on the severity of the arthritis and on how much the individual can handle.

Aerobic Exercise

Some individuals choose to simply engage in walking. Walking and other aerobic exercise will help the individuals improve their cardiovascular system. Arthritis suffers often complain about fatigue and aerobic exercise is the best way to combat this. Aerobic exercise can also be beneficial for improving the individual’s mental health. In order to gain benefits from aerobic exercise, an individual should aim to exercise for at least 30 minutes a day for five days per week.

Range-of-Motion Exercise

Other arthritis sufferers choose to engage in range-of-motion exercises. These exercises are designed to increase the mobility of the joints. Some types of range-of-motion exercises include yoga and tai chi. In addition to increasing mobility, these exercises also improve balance and coordination. Many arthritis sufferers note that range-of-motion exercises help to decrease the stiffness that they often feel.

Strength Training

A final type of exercise is strength training. This exercise is designed for weight management and it builds muscles that will help to protect the joints from additional damage. By building more muscle, the chances of developing arthritis decrease drastically. As the body becomes stronger, the chances of injury are reduced as well.

Arthritis is a painful condition that thousands of people suffer from daily. However, by developing a consistent exercise routine, many individuals can begin to live a better quality of life. Also, when exercise is done at an early age, many individuals will never have to experience the pain of arthritis.

Diet

While your diet won’t actually prevent arthritis itself, it can help in conjunction with physical activity. The healthier you are, the less likely your body is to be diagnosed with many different health problems. By keeping your diet healthy, you can increase the strength of your bones and your organs as well as your body. When your body is strong, it’s less likely to suffer from health problems such as arthritis.

There’s no one way to prevent arthritis from occurring but there are many ways to help manage the disease if you have it and to help minimize symptoms in case you develop it. The biggest piece of information you can have to help prevent and manage arthritis is that healthy lifestyle changes can make a significant impact on your future health.

The more you take care of yourself now, the more you’ll enjoy your life later. There’s much research to indicate that your current healthy lifestyle plays a major role in your future health, including potential forms of arthritis that are so common in adulthood.

Keep Control of Your Symptoms with an Arthritis Prevention Diet

If you suffer from arthritis, one thing you should take seriously is healthy eating. The food you eat has a great effect on your body’s natural processes, including how your body fights off disease and handles pain. By concentrating on foods that will help lower body fat and learning to avoid trigger foods, you will find that living with arthritis gets a little easier for you.

Foods to Avoid in Your Diet

Pain from arthritis can noticeably worsen if you gain weight. Learn to reduce fried and processed foods in your diet. This will help to lower body fat. Even if you are within your normal weight range, avoiding these foods will help your body to restore its ability to defend itself against disease.

Dairy products can also cause flare-ups because pasteurized food, as well as fried and processed foods, can cause a buildup of toxins in the body. These toxins make the body work harder and less able to repair the diseased cells in your body.

Sugar is another food to reduce in your diet. A diet high in sugar can easily lead to weight gain, heart disease, and other serious health conditions. Along with this, a high-sugar diet in arthritics is known to increase the intensity of their symptoms.

Increase Your Healthy Eating

Increasing the amount of fruits and vegetables in your diet is a must when you want to relieve some of your arthritis symptoms. Getting your level of Vitamin C up is going to help keep your collagen in good condition. As collagen helps to make up the cartilage in your body, it makes sense to increase the food that will give you more natural Vitamin C.

Omega-3 fatty acids will also reduce your symptoms, as they will help to decrease the inflammation in your body. Things that are high in Omega-3 fatty acids include fish, flaxseed oil, and walnuts. There are also spices that are known for reducing inflammation in the body. These include turmeric and ginger.

An arthritis prevention diet may not cure your diagnosis, but it can certainly lessen the symptoms. By eating healthy and learning to evade certain foods, you may just be able to live your life with less pain.

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