How Can the Elderly Protect Their Joints to Prevent Osteoarthritis?

 

As we grow older, our bodies start to change and with those changes, our body becomes loses its ability to fully protect itself against many medical conditions. One of those medical conditions is Osteoarthritis. We mention Osteoarthritis because it is one of the most common conditions noticed among the elderly. Osteoarthritis is only one of the many different types of Arthritis. What you should know about Arthritis is that is it considered to be a modern disease of the 21st century with no known cause. And since we do not know the exact cause for this serious condition, it is almost impossible to find the one right cure. But there are many treatment options that have been found as successful for some patients, but not for all. When it comes to Arthritis, the best that we can hope for is to relief the symptoms. And what makes this whole process even more difficult is the fact that there are over 100 types of Arthritis and one of them is Osteoarthritis. But, if we cannot fully cure it that does not mean that we cannot prevent it using different ways and lifestyle changes. Which is why we decided to share some tips which are specially modified for the elderly that will help them to prevent Osteoarthritis and lead a happy and healthy life?

Why is It So Important to Prevent Osteoarthritis?

As we grow older our lives change because of all of the body changes that we go through. Well, imagine if you had to worry about all of the symptoms that Osteoarthritis brings. Imagine waking up and experiencing pain, stiffness, and swelling in your joints and going through the day like that. That alone is a reason enough for us to want to prevent this condition. One another reason is the increased risk of falls. As we grow older our ability to maintain our balance decreases as well as our bones lose their strength. This leads to an increased risk of fractures. And once you experience a fracture while you are dealing with Osteoarthritis you are going to experience an even longer period healing from that fracture.

Important to Prevent Osteoarthritis

How to Prevent Osteoarthritis?

  • Eat more vegetables – Certain vegetables e.g. lettuces, broccoli, spinach, and kale can slow down the process of cartilage destruction and also decrease the bone loss that normally occurs with age, especially within women. However, you will need to stay away from any additional calories by avoiding ranch and other sauces that you might use on your salad and use natural olive oil instead.
  • Take a break to move around the office – If your job requires spending a lot of the time sitting at your desk make sure that you use your lunch break to move around as much as you can. Maybe even do a quick 10 minutes stretching. Exercise is the key when it comes to preventing any type of arthritis.
  • Avoid smoking – Not only does smoking increase the risk of common fractures, but a recently published study had shown that smoking actually slows down the process of bone healing after a fracture. Arthritis commonly leads to common fractures e.g. hip and knee fractures, which is why you need to avoid smoking in order to improve your lifestyle and decrease the risk of fractures that Arthritis brings.
  • Lose those extra pounds – Those extra pounds do change the image of yourself, but most importantly they put additional stress on your knees. It is considered that losing as little as 11 pounds can help relief the stress on your knees and decrease the risk of Osteoarthritis by 50%. After all, it is not something that you cannot do with the help of a healthy diet and regular exercise!
  • Go for a swim – Visit your local pool and enjoy a nice, long swim. You will benefit by not only gaining muscle strength of muscles that will later protect your joints, and this is especially important to prevent any unwanted falls and fractures, but you will also experience an increased range of motion and flexibility! Swimming also helps patients that are suffering from some kind of Arthritis.
  • Take time for yourself – Learn how to say “no” more often, especially for activities that you do not really enjoy. This allows you to have more time to spend for yourself e.g. for exercising, trying new healthy recipes or just to take a quick nap to go through the day more easily.
  • Gain control over your blood sugar – High blood sugar will evidently lead to diabetes mellitus which is a very serious disease. And to make the matters even more serious, there is a recent study that shows a strong relation between patients with diabetes mellitus and Osteoarthritis.
High blood sugar

Conclusion

Maybe in the past, it was a surprise to hear that someone is suffering from the characteristic symptoms of Arthritis, well not anymore. Today, Arthritis is considered as one of the diseases of the modern age along with Diabetes mellitus, Osteoporosis, Erectile dysfunction and etc. Luckily for us, there are things that we can do in order to prevent these conditions. For that purpose, we have listed a few of the popular ways that you can prevent Osteoarthritis, one of the common types of arthritis. We hope that you will make the decision to improve your life and avoid any serious condition.

Reference

  • https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3686151/

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Author

Expert Author : Dr. Ahmed Zayed (Consumer Health Digest)

Dr. Ahmed Zayed Helmy holds a baccalaureate of Medicine and Surgery. He has completed his degree in 2011 at the University of Alexandria, Egypt. Dr. Ahmed believes in providing knowledgeable information to readers. Other than his passion for writing, currently he is working as a Plastic surgeon and is doing his masters at Ain shams University.