Osteoarthritis is a highly prevalent disease caused by continuous degeneration of the bones and cartilages of joints. Sorry to say, nothing totally prevents osteoarthritis, but there are many things that you can do to make arthritis easier to live with.
Exercising arthritic joints except during acute flare-ups definitely strengthens the muscles and reduces disease progression. Physical activity is important for overall health, but it is more important for people with osteoarthritis since it is a disease of joints. However, one may have to modify exercise routines to reduce strain on joints. Walking, cycling or swimming are low-impact exercises that will not stress the joints. Yoga may boost flexibility and depending on how severe your osteoarthritis is, you may have to opt for different exercises.
Wearing proper footwear can significantly reduce pain and disease progression. A study published in the journal “Arthritis & Rheumatism” by Najia Shakoor and Joel A. Block, strongly recommend the need of wearing proper shoes as it may increase loads on lower extremity joints, including knees. Shoes that are flat or have no heel elevation may help reduce knee osteoarthritis.
Diet aids in treating knee osteoarthritis. Foods that are rich in glucosamine canameliorate are good for joint health. Glucosamine is an amino sugar produced naturally in our bodies and is an amalgam of two substances – glucose and glutamine. It is essential for tissue and cartilage repair. Animal sources like cartilage and bone marrow rich foods are natural source of glucosamine. Apart from this, foods rich in Methylsulfonylmethane and Omega 3 fatty acids are also good for decreasing disease progression.
Though exercising is important to keep up joint health, there are some exercises that osteoarthritic patients need to stay away from.
- Running and jogging
- Jumping rope
- High-impact aerobics
- Deep knee squats
- Avoid prolonged standing and kneeling
- Bench press. Wide grip bench press put lot of stress through shoulder joints.
Foods: Try to avoid whole fat dairy products, highly sweetened or salty products and foods rich in trans fat.
In short, certain do’s and don’ts in life style can ease osteoarthritis pain.
- National Institutes of Health: Osteoarthritis
- Arthritis Foundation. “Alternative therapies: glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate.” 2004.
- “Arthritis and Rheumatism”; Walking Barefoot Decreases Loading on the Lower Extremity Joints; Najia Shakoor, et al.; September 2006
- Is There Any Difference Between Arthritis And Osteoarthritis?
- Summary of Osteoarthritis Research Studies, Treatments being Investigated, Clinical Trial investigators and Research Sites
- Knee Osteoarthritis Clinical Trials
- Eat Garlic and Onions to Reduce Osteoarthritis Risk: BMC Journal
- Cause for Osteoarthritis Pain Discovered