Osteoarthritis is a common ailment among our aging population in America. This disease is characterized by a loss of cartilage in the joint and inflammation, and it affects 20 million Americans.
If you have been afflicted by this disease, how can you combat it, and how can you prevent it?
Many aspects can impact the impact of this disease, but, surprisingly, lack of exercise is one of the problems. Dr. Joseph Mercola writes,
“Contrary to popular belief, if you have osteoarthritis then exercise is absolutely crucial to your well-being. […] According to the lead researcher [in previous studies], “The fact that so many people with arthritis are inactive should be a wake-up call to physicians.”Indeed, if physicians could instill the importance of exercise to their arthritis patients, many would benefit immensely.”
Dr. Mercola notes that exercise actually reduces joint pain and does not wear down joints, as many people believe. Additionally, because exercise can help a person lose weight, this can help to reduce the likelihood of osteoarthritis developing in the first place. Again, Dr. Mercola writes,
“Arthritis rates are more than twice as high in obese people as those who are normal weight, because the extra weight puts more pressure on your joints. This can not only lead to osteoarthritis, it can also make the condition exponentially worse.”
When exercising to help combat osteoarthritis, be sure to be careful not to aggravate joint pain, and specifically work to strengthen muscles around the joint to improve support of the joint by the body’s muscle system.
Additionally, diet plays an important part in both treating and preventing osteoarthritis. For example,
“Two recent studies confirmed that people who eat a processed and fried food diet high in sugars and red meat are more likely to develop rheumatoid arthritis (an autoimmune disorder) than those who eat plenty of fresh fruits, vegetables, legumes, poultry, and fish.”
If suffering from osteoarthritis, certain supplements may help to ease pain and/or reduce inflammation in the joints. Among the supplements recommended to help against arthritis are turmeric / curcumin, vitamin D, astaxanthin, hyaluronic acid, eggshell membrane, boswellia, sulfur / Epsom salt soaks / MSM, and animal-based omega-3 fats.
With some diligence and minor lifestyle and diet changes, you may be able to significantly reduce the effect of osteoarthritis and regain the mobility that you may have believed to have been lost.