facebook pixel 3 Ways to Prevent Osteoarthritis
Site Search
< Blog Home < Healthy Living

3 Ways to Prevent Osteoarthritis

One in four adults will experience osteoarthritis later in life. The good news is, there are ways to prevent it. Use these three tips to keep your joints healthy now and for years to come.

Couple walking with their dog. Get moving, a way to help prevent osteoarthritis

When we’re young, it’s nearly impossible to contemplate having an older body, but by the time we’re in our 40s and begin experiencing the entirely unwelcome aches and pains that signal middle age, it’s easier to imagine what our body will feel like when we hit our 60s and beyond. For some of us, old age might include osteoarthritis, a degenerative joint disease that breaks down cartilage, grows worse over time, and causes severe pain.

Related: 6 Ways to Strengthen your Bones

According to the Arthritis Foundation, one in four adults will show symptoms of osteoarthritis by age 65, which means millions of us could enter advanced age accompanied by severe pain. There’s good news, however, and that is that osteoarthritis is not inevitable. In fact, there’s a good chance you can prevent it entirely by following the three major ways to prevent osteoarthritis:

1. Maintain a healthy weight

To appreciate the damage extra weight does to your body, imagine that you’re the owner of a truck. Now, fill the bed of that pickup truck with concrete. You’ll get poor mileage, your brakes will need to be replaced faster, and your shocks will wear out very quickly. The same science applies to your body: Extra weight means putting your joints through extra stress, which wears them out faster. Johns Hopkins says that being just ten pounds overweight increases the pressure on each knee by 30-60 pounds per step. There’s also evidence that obesity quadruples the risk of a woman getting osteoarthritis in her knee. Even small weight loss makes a big difference.

2. Cut back on carbohydrates and added sugar

Carbohydrates are everyone’s favorite friend (I’m looking at you, spaghetti), but they’re also one of the worst things for our bodies, and a diet low in fat and high in sugar spells trouble for your joints. Studies have found that those who consumed whole foods like fruits and vegetables and nuts were significantly less likely to be hampered by inflammation, which can cause arthritis in joints that don’t even hold weight (like fingers).

3. Get moving

The old saying, “Move it or lose it,” holds especially true with osteoarthritis. A group of Canadian scientists found that even just walking 30 to 50 minutes a day decreased knee pain and improved quality of life. According to the Arthritis Foundation, “Exercise is considered the most effective non-drug treatment for reducing pain and improving movement in osteoarthritis.” That’s big news because you’ll also rely less on painkillers and have less risk of developing dependency. Try walking, but also consider adding weight training to your day to increase range of motion and improve the health of your joints.

Related: Why You Should Have Good Posture

Getting older isn’t anything to be scared of as long as you respect your body while you’re young. Stay active, eat whole foods to nourish yourself, and keep off the pounds. All the research points to osteoarthritis being preventable if you do your part to treat your body well. 

While you’re here, check out our other healthy living articles.  

 

SelectHealth may link to other websites for your convenience. SelectHealth does not expressly or implicitly recommend or endorse the views, opinions, specific services, or products referenced at other websites linked to the SelectHealth site, unless explicitly stated.

The content presented here is for your information only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, and it should not be used to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease. Please consult your healthcare provider if you have any questions or concerns.

You May Also Like...

Healthcare and Insurance Basics

The Differences between Medicare and Medicaid

We’re explaining the main differences between Medicare and Medicaid—programs administered by the government that provide health care coverage.

Nutrition and Diet

Flourless Pumpkin Bread

This version of pumpkin bread only requires 6 ingredients—it’s made without flour and naturally sweetened with maple syrup.

In the Community

Is Your Organization Keeping Utah Healthy? Apply for Our Award

Each year, we recognize 20 organizations that are making a healthy difference in Utah to help support their missions.

Business

What Playing Football Taught Me about Business

Here’s how my passion for playing football has helped me off the field.

Related Articles

Related Articles

Healthy Living

4 Ways You Can Prepare for Retirement Now

It’s never too early to plan for retirement. Here are a few ways to start saving now—the future you will thank you for it.

Healthy Living

5 Stretches That Are Easy on Your Knees

Knee issues can diminish your quality of life. Keep your knees healthy with these simple exercises you can do at home.

Healthy Living

Give Your Child the Gift of a Positive Body Image

Curious how to give your child a positive body image? Children pick up what parents say and do—especially when it comes to diet and exercise. Use these tips when talking to them about healthy choices.

Healthy Living

13 Things You Should Tell Yourself Every Day

Positive thinking can have a big impact on mental and physical health. Be sure you’re telling yourself these things every day.

Post Author

Amberlee Lovell Peterson
Amberlee is a content manager, freelance writer, and designer. She is currently working on launching her own podcast and loves baby foxes.