Do You Know What to Do About Arthritis?
you or someone you love suffers from arthritis, please know that you
(or they) are not alone. Chances are that if you have arthritis, you
probably have osteoarthritis, its most common form. It affects over 20
million people in the United States and becomes more common with age.
Osteoarthritis, or OA, is a progressive degenerative disease which
eventually destroys the joints it affects.
When osteoarthritis affects a joint, the cartilage, or padding between
the bones in the joint, becomes worn and thinned. This causes
increased friction between the bones which in turn leads to a loss of
mobility, or movement, in the joint. It will also cause new bone
growths, or spurs, to form around the joints. The end result is you
have a joint which is painful and does not move as well as it should
until it comes to a point where the bone spurs from either side of the
joint eventually meet and fuse the joint. Once fused, the joint will
become rigid and will no longer function.
The older you get, the greater your risk of osteoarthritis becomes.
Being overweight greatly increases your risk of being affected by this
form of arthritis. Obesity also speeds up the progression of this
destructive disease. It has been determined that osteoarthritis may
also be caused by injury to a joint, overuse as well as chronic
inflammation within the body. Most commonly you will notice symptoms
of osteoarthritis in your hands, feet, spine, hips, knees and ankles.
You Can Do About Osteoarthritis
Osteoarthritis is by far easier to prevent then it is to treat.
Prevention first consists of incorporating moderate, low intensity
physical activity in your daily routine. Incorporating activities such
as walking, biking and use of home exercise equipment such as
elliptical trainers or stair climbers regularly throughout your
lifetime has been proven to make a significant impact on preventing
OA. Secondly, reducing your body weight will also dramatically
decrease your risk of developing OA; some studies have found it can
decrease your risk by almost 50%. Last but not least, preventing
injuries to the joints commonly affected by OA will improve your
chances of living without arthritis.
Is it already too late for prevention for you? If so, your greatest
hope is managing your osteoarthritis, as there are no known cures for
this condition. Management is available several different ways,
depending on the contributing factors to your situation. Chiropractic
care and Physical Therapy can provide improved joint function, many
times slowing the progression of arthritis while at the same time
providing relief. Your chiropractor will also be able to provide
specific recommendations regarding helpful diet choices and
If obesity is a contributing factor, reducing your weight will greatly
reduce your pain while at the same time helping to slow the
progression of damage within your joints. There is no magic pill or
bullet to help you lose weight. The best way for you to reduce your
weight is through eating smaller portion sizes and then increasing
your physical activity level. A simple way to eat less is to eat 2/3
of your typical portion size. When done so regularly, you will
decrease your caloric intake enough to help you decrease weight. The
beauty of it is that you won't suffer from the typical shortcomings of
most diets which cause them to fail: leaving you feeling hungry after
About the Author:
Dr. Nick Preston is a chiropractor focused on helping families enjoy
greater health and founder of
Wisdom and Health. Find products like
Biofreeze, Sombra and others which can help you get relief from
your arthritis symptoms.
Additional Information and
webpage by Paul Susic MA Licensed
Psychologist Ph.D. Candidate