Nearly 60 million adults in the United States live with arthritis, which stiffens the joints, reduces mobility, and causes pain. Your chances of getting arthritis increase exponentially after age 45, with 29.3% of adults 45-64 experiencing arthritis compared with just 7.1% of people 18-44. For adults 65 and older, the rate of diagnosed arthritis is 49.6%.
Whether or not you have any family members with arthritis, you may be at risk of developing certain forms of the condition. Osteoarthritis, the most common form, is the result of wear and tear on your joints that eventually reduces their function. It can affect several joints and is most common in the hips, hands, and knees.
Our experts at North Point Orthopaedics in Munster, Valparaiso, and Crown Point, Indiana, can evaluate your arthritis risk and treat the condition if you have it. Whether or not your risk is high, you can take steps today to mitigate your risk and keep your joints healthy.
You probably have some idea of the value of exercise when it comes to your health. Arthritis is one of many conditions that exercise can help keep at bay, as a sedentary lifestyle can lead to joint stiffness.
As easy as it may be to spend your free time unwinding in front of the television, you should try to spend some time in motion. If you work at a desk, you can be proactive by getting up to stretch and move every so often during your workday.
Always warm up before a workout, even before you stretch. You should also cool down after exercise to reduce the risk of joint damage.
Being overweight or obese is a major risk factor for osteoarthritis. In fact, being overweight elevates your arthritis risk by 4-5 times! If you’re not sure where to start when it comes to dropping extra pounds, your primary care provider can give you personalized tips or support you with a medical weight-loss program.
Some foods are particularly healthy for your joints. Take salmon, for example. Coldwater fish like salmon and mackerel have tons of omega-3 fatty acids, which combat inflammation and reduce arthritis symptoms in people who already have it. If you’re vegetarian or vegan, algae is also a great source of omega-3s.
Don’t like fishy foods? You can add omega-3 supplements to your medicine cabinet and receive the same benefits. You should talk to your doctor before starting any new supplement if you choose this route.
Other anti-inflammatory foods to consider:
A healthy, well-rounded diet has plenty of benefits beyond joint health.
Smoking is no good for your health and can be particularly harmful to your bones and joints. It increases your arthritis risk as well as your risk of osteoporosis, a low-bone density condition. Your primary care provider can offer tips for lasting, permanent smoking cessation.
Schedule an appointment online or over the phone at North Point Orthopaedics for more joint health strategies today.