Arthritis Prevention – Arthritis – Joint Health

Arthritis Prevention

Arthritis Prevention

A healthy lifestyle can help reduce your risk for arthritis. To help prevent early arthritis, maintain your flexibility and range of motion with regular exercise to build up muscles around your joints. Regular exercise can also help to keep off excess weight that puts increased pressure on your joints (especially the knees) over time. There is no proven diet to prevent arthritis, but adequate bone-building nutrients throughout life (calcium, vitamin D, vitamin K, protein and others) will ensure that your bones start off as healthy as they can be.

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    Sigma Nursing

    Currently, there is no certain way to prevent any form of arthritis. In general, though, a healthy lifestyle may help reduce your risk or reduce your symptoms. A diet that is low in calories and saturated fats and high in whole grains, fruits and vegetables may be helpful. Regular exercise, especially swimming and anything that involves stretching, may reduce your risk. Exercise and diet can help you maintain a healthy weight, which also may help reduce your risk for arthritis. Exercise with care, though; avoiding overuse or injury to the joints may also reduce the risk of osteoarthritis.

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    Sigma Nursing

    Swimming is a good exercise for preventing arthritis, and for reducing pain and stiffness if you have arthritis. Exercising in water is less stressful to your joints because the water’s buoyancy supports the body’s weight, which reduces stress on the joints and minimizes pain.
    Swimming is also a good cardiovascular workout and will help you lose or keep off excess body weight that could add pressure on your knee and hip joints. It also strengthens the muscles around your joints to increase flexibility and slow the progression of arthritis.

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    HealthyWomen

    While arthritis is more common as you age, thanks to the impact of time on the cushiony cartilage that prevents joints and bone from rubbing against one another, age itself doesn’t cause arthritis.

    There are steps you can take in your youth to prevent it, such as losing weight, wearing comfortable, supportive shoes (as opposed to three-inch spikes) and taking it easy with joint-debilitating exercise like running and basketball. One study found that women who exercised at least once every two weeks for at least 20 minutes were much less likely to develop arthritis of the knee (the most common location for the disease) than women who exercised less.

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    Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD - ,  - Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)

    Building up muscles around your joints can help prevent arthritis.

    Watch the video to learn from Dr. Oz what else can be done to prevent arthritis.

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    Shelley Peterman Schwarz - Madison, WI - Neurology

    Whether you’ve had arthritis for years or you’ve just been diagnosed, here are ideas for being proactive about managing your pain.

    • Wear driving gloves for hand pain. If your hands and fingers are very sensitive and painful, driving gloves (the leather type that covers your hand and leaves the tips of your fingers free) might give you enough support and protection to make daily activities less painful. Try them when carrying packages or groceries, carrying hangers, changing bedding — anytime your hands give you trouble. Elastic gloves, designed for carpal tunnel or computer use, are another option. Ask your healthcare professional about the type of gloves you should wear and where to find them.
    • Put your feet up. To take pressure off your legs and back when seated in a chair, car or bench, do not let your legs dangle. If you do not have a footstool, put a box or books under your feet.
    • Stay warm. Cold joints are often stiff and sore joints.
    • Use a hand massager or vibrating head and neck pillow to help ease the pain when you are bothered by stiff, tight or achy muscles. Some vibrators or massagers are designed to hold in your hand and massage the spine; others cover the back and/or seat of your chair for an all-over massage experience. Some just vibrate; others have rolling parts inside that massage more vigorously. Some allow the addition of soothing heat with your massage. There’s even a neck pillow designed to strap onto the back of an office chair or car seat. Remove the detachable strap, and you can position the pillow to massage your neck, back, shoulders, legs and feet. Because the pillow vibrates quietly, you won’t disturb others if you use it in bed or during a meeting, and it is great for long car rides. Vibrating massagers are sold in drug and department stores.

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    Dr. Grant Cooper, MD - Princeton, NJ - Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation

    Exercise can help prevent arthritis by stretching and strengthening the structures surrounding the joints, as well as helping to keep the joints well nourished. In addition, exercise helps you lose weight, which is another way to reduce your risk for developing arthritis. Obesity also increases the pain and disability associated with arthritis, and the combination of obesity and arthritis are ingredients for a potentially devastating cycle.

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    National Academy of Sports Medicine

    There is no scientific evidence to show that the development of arthritis is related to diet, either the presence or absence of foods. That said, adequate bone building nutrients throughout life (calcium, vitamin D, vitamin K, protein, and others) will ensure that your bones start off as healthy as they can be.

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    Dr. Grant Cooper, MD - Princeton, NJ - Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation

    A study of rheumatoid arthritis patients showed that people who consumed 6 grams a day of olive oil in capsule form experienced a significant improvement in their arthritis symptoms after six months. Many of the participants who consumed olive oil were able to reduce their nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID) use. Other studies also found a correlation between increased olive oil consumption and a reduced risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis.

    Because of the inflammatory component that exists in osteoarthritis, it is reasonable and perhaps likely that an anti-inflammatory diet including olive oil could decrease the severity of osteoarthritis symptoms and disease progression.

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    RealAge

    The vitamin K in cabbage, spinach, Swiss chard, and other leafy greens may help keep your hands arthritis-free — all the better for keyboarding, card dealing, piano playing, or knitting. Try shredding your favorite leafy greens (about 4 cups) in a food processor, then toss with 1/4 cup low-fat mayo, 1 teaspoon vinegar, 1 teaspoon honey, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Feeds you and three favorite friends.

    Until recently, vitamin K was known mainly for helping blood clot after a nick or cut. Now you can add it to the list of things that lower the risk of osteoarthritis. In a study of older adults, those who had the most K in their blood were the least likely to have joint damage in their hands, and their knees got some protection, too.

    The United States Department of Agriculture recommendation is at least 90 micrograms (mcg) of vitamin K a day for women and 120 mcg for men. You can get most or all of that in one serving of our Kole Slaw, depending on the greens you use.

    • One cup of shredded cabbage has about 100 mcg of vitamin K.
    • One cup of raw spinach has about 75 mcg.
    • One cup of Swiss chard has a whopping 299 mcg.

    Not a slaw lover? A cup of asparagus has 144 mcg; a cup of broccoli, 93 mcg.

    One caveat: Vitamin K can interfere with blood thinners (warfarin and its ilk). If you take a blood thinner, talk with your healthcare provider — you need to be extremely cautious about K.


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