Osteoarthritis is the most common cause of disability among adults over 60 years of age. It is the loss of cartilage over joints which are required for lubrication and protection of joints. It affects worst the weight bearing joints like knee, hip etc. Generally, the degenerative impact of osteoarthritis starts from early 40’s but, in most cases it remains asymptotic till a big harm is done. Once cartilage is lost then only a few treatment options remain available like joint replacement surgeries, corticosteroid injections and food supplements. Although very common and extremely disabling, it is not carved in stone for every adult, in other words there are certain lifestyle changes that can prevent it or delay its disabling impacts over our bodies.
Most of us, especially the city dwellers are accustomed to a very comfortable and sedentary lifestyle which is costing us in other ways in terms of our health. We are gaining more weight than it is good for our bodies. It has been proven that a force equivalent up to 6 times of our body weight is exerted on our knee joints and a force equivalent up to 3 times of our body weight is exerted upon our hip joints. That means even a small reduction in our body weight can relieve our joints from a big stress.
Care should be taken in maintaining balance and presence of essential nutrients required by our bodies in daily diet. In countries like India, carbohydrate constitutes a large part of diet which should be carefully reduced by replacing a big part of it with proteins and vegetables. Food rich in Omega 3 Fatty acids, beta-carotene, Vitamin C, Vitamin D should be included in regular diet. Certain bioflavanoids like quercetin, anthocyanidins are known for anti-inflammatory properties, some good and common sources of quertcin include onion, broccoli, green tea, apples, black currants. Apart from these, certain spices like turmeric and ginger are also known their anti-inflammatory works and their inclusion in diet can be helpful.
Proper physical exercises with a good combination of both cardio and strength exercises is very helpful in maintaining a fit body. Mild to moderate physical activity for a minimum of 3 days per week is extremely crucial for maintaining ones fitness level. Strength exercises like wall slides can be performed even in the convenience of homes. Care should be taken to prevent over-doing exercises as that can be stressful and harmful for joints. Exercises are good but, over doing them can be dangerous.
Treat and Prevent Joint Injuries
If one gets any accidental joint injury then one should immediately under go treatment for it as poor alignment of joints can worsen osteoarthritis. Also try to avoid postures and activities that put constant stress on joints to prevent any future injury.
These are a few lifestyle changes that can remarkably influence the onset and effects of osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis even in its asymptotic phase should be taken seriously and proper lifestyle changes should be brought in before it gets too late.