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Osteoarthritis is a common form of the disease, mainly affecting people who have reached middle age. Henceforth, the condition can increasingly affect day-to-day life. However, there are ways to remain mobile.
The charity Arthritis Foundation suggests healthy lifestyle choices that can “help ease joint pain”.
Astoundingly, such measures are said to prevent osteoarthritis “from getting worse”.
A healthy weight
One key area to master is your weight when it comes to minimising the onset of osteoarthritis.
Maintaining a healthy weight can ease the pressure on weight-bearing joints, such as the hips and knees.
Although the condition can affect any joint in the body, the hips and knees are a common site of osteoarthritis.
Other joints most commonly affected are the hands, lower back and the neck.
“Each pound you gain adds nearly four pounds of stress to your knees and increases pressure on your hips six-fold,” confirmed Arthritis Foundation.
“The extra strain breaks down the cartilage that cushions these joints and that gets worse over time.”
The charity explained that fat tissues produce proteins called cytokines.
Cytokines promote inflammation in the body, and they destroy tissues in the joints.
If you gain excess weight, the body creates more of these destructive proteins.
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Thus, “losing even a few pounds can reduce joint stress and inflammation”.
Blood sugar control
Anyone with diabetes now has another reason to keep their blood sugar levels under control.
High blood sugar (i.e. glucose) levels can influence cartilage to stiffen and become more sensitive to mechanical stress.
Moreover, uncontrolled blood sugar levels can trigger inflammation that leads to cartilage loss.
Touted as the “best available treatment for osteoarthritis”, 30 minutes of daily exercise can help “joints stay limber”.
In addition, regular physical activity “strengthens the muscles that support and stabilise the hips and knees”.
However, do pay attention to your body. If you have pain that persists up to two hours following a workout, do less next time.
“To avoid injury, go slow until you know how your body reacts to a new activity and don’t repeat the same exercise every day,” advised the charity.
Staying active can help you maintain a healthy weight, and can help keep joints healthy.
Exercise also strengthens the heart and lung, and helps to lower the risk of developing diabetes.
“Ultimately, the best defense against osteoarthritis is a healthy lifestyle,” certified Arthritis Foundation.
To achieve this, make sure you’re getting the right amount of sleep, you have a healthy diet, and have positive stress management techniques, such as meditation.
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