The most common form of arthritis is degenerative arthritis the chronic breakdown of cartilage in the joints leading to stiffness, inflammation, pain and loss of joint movement. This disease affects the large weight-bearing joints such as hips, spine and knees as well as the hands, feet (big toe).
Who is at risk?
Populations with the greatest risk include: older adults, those with a genetic history of degenerative arthritis, women, obese population, those with hormone disturbances such as diabetes as well as individuals who have occupations where they are required to execute repetitive motions such as ballet dancers, professional athletes and construction workers.
OK… So how do I prevent getting degenerative arthritis?
- Good Nutrition: Nutrients including: omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin C, vitamin D, and ginger have been associated with the prevention of degenerative arthritis.
Omega-3 fatty acids aid in the reduction of joint inflammation. Sources include: fish oil, plant/nut oils, walnuts, flaxseed, and olives.
Vitamin C. Moderate intake is associated with the prevention of the progress of degenerative arthritisthreefold. Sources include: peppers, apples, strawberries, tomatoes, broccoli, turnip greens, leafy greens, sweet and white potatoes, and cantaloupe.
Vitamin D. Low levels of vitamin D is associated with the threefold increase in your risk of degenerative arthritisin comparison to those with high levels of vitamin. Sources include: sunlight, fish, and mushrooms.
Ginger is associated with the reduction of joint inflammation. Sources include: ginger tea, shaved ginger, and ginger supplement.
If you’re interested in more information, see Dr. Gustin’s website, The Paleo Fix , for information on an anti-inflammatory diet plan.
- Exercise: Weak muscles area associated with the increase in your risk of degenerative arthritis. To prevent degenerative arthritis:
- Avoid bending knees past 90 degrees when doing half knee bends.
- Keep feet as flat as possible during stretches to avoid twisting knees.
- When jumping, land with knees bent.
- Do warm-up exercises before sports, even less vigorous ones such as golf.
- Cool down after vigorous sports.
- Wear properly fitting shoes that provide shock absorption and stability.
- Exercise on the softest surface available; avoid running on asphalt and concrete.
- Maintain Ideal Weight: Studies have shown losing one pound can take four pounds of pressure off your knee joints. Additionally, In a study of osteoarthritis in a population in Framingham, Mass., researchers estimated that overweight women who lost 11 pounds or about two body mass index (BMI) points, decreased their risk of osteoarthritis by more than 50%, while a comparable weight gain was associated with an increased risk of later developing knee OA.
- Avoid Injuries or Get Them Treated: Joint injuries increase your risk of getting degenerative arthritis. In order to prevent injury start slowly when your exercise; take 5 to 10 minutes to warm up with gentle movements and stretches. Additionally, changing your exercises and activities each day helps to avoid stressing your body and prevents injuries to joints, ligaments and tendons.
- Good Posture: Good posture is crucial for alleviating stress on many important joints. When you slouch, extra stress is put on your joints, however by keeping your body well-aligned you can prevent or ease the symptoms of degenerative arthritis
Also – chiropractic adjustments. Getting adjusted by skilled chiropractor will help the function of the joint and prevent locking and degeneration to occur in the first place. This is one of the many reasons why regular chiropractic care can be beneficial! If you are feeling stiff and achy and would like to prevent any problems from happening down the road, don’t hesitate to contact us and book your first appointment!