Many people believe that arthritis is just a fact of life as they age. The truth is there are a lot of reasons people develop arthritis and many relate to the activities you participate in when you're young. In fact, joint injury is one of the leading causes of osteoarthritis.
People who experience sports or occupational injuries or have jobs that require repetitive motion (like repeated knee bending) have a higher risk of osteoarthritis compared to those who avoid injury and repetitive motion.
What do you do if you're diagnosed?
So what do you do if you think you have arthritis? Here are some things to try to alleviate the pain:
- See your doctor. Although there is no cure for most types of arthritis, early diagnosis and appropriate management is important. If you have symptoms of arthritis, see your doctor and begin appropriate management of your condition.
- Be active. Research has shown that physical activity decreases pain, improves function and delays disability. Make sure you get at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity at least five days a week.
- Watch your weight. The occurrence of arthritis increases with increasing weight. Research suggests that maintaining a healthy weight may decrease arthritis progression. A loss of just 11 pounds can decrease the incidence of new knee osteoarthritis and a significant weight loss (55 pounds) can help reduce pain and disability.
Arthritis is not just a fact of life when it comes to growing older, but following these guidelines might help you avoid some of the pain if you're diagnosed.
Pain may not have to be a part of your life
If you experience arthritis pain or for more information on keeping your joints strong and healthy, we have the resources that can help.
To find a doctor or speak to a nurse, call Consult-A-Nurse® at (951) 788-3463, 24 hours a day. Visit our orthopedics page for information on our joint care and services.