Arthritis affects a large part of the population, occurring especially in women. It is caused by inflammation in one or more joints, also accompanied by cartilage deterioration. It is painful and directly affects quality of life. So why not learn a few simple steps to prevent it from advancing?
Specialists say that there are more than 100 types of arthritis. But two of them are undoubtedly the most common: osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. These are painful diseases that cause a lot of suffering, inflammation, redness, stiffness…factors that can slowly become chronic. But can arthritis be cured? The truth is no — right now there is no cure for arthritis, but we can reduce its appearance and have a better quality of life. We’re going to explain how below.
What causes arthritis?
The complete list of causes is still unknown today, but there are a few factors that could increase the development of arthritis and they are worth keeping in mind:
- Genetic heredity from parents.
- An immune system defect whereby rather than protecting joints and cartilage, it destroys them.
- It could be that rather than your body defending itself against infections, it attacks its own tissues, affecting the joints.
- This could also be due to a certain defect in cartilage, and even due to injuries or trauma that weren’t cured immediately.
- Excess weight and obesity is also a determining factor, especially in the knees.
- Having weak muscles is a determining factor. If they are not in good shape they cannot properly protect your joints, risking greater wear and leading to injuries.
- Doing repetitive movements with the same joint is also extremely important. Sometimes, this work could cause arthritic problems over time.
How do I lessen the impact of arthritis?
1. Do not ignore the pain.
Studies shown the the first two years are essential for treating arthritic problems. If you feel burning in your knees, hands, or any other joint, and it lasts longer than two weeks, consult your physician. Experiencing sudden swelling is normal; for example, fingers falling asleep and becoming inflamed and red. Do not brush this off. The sooner you start treating arthritis the better.
2. Get a diagnosis
As mentioned before, there are more than 100 types of arthritis. You could be experiencing rheumatoid or osteoarthritis, which are the most common. But given all the varieties, it is important that you get a clear diagnosis to know what type of treatment is best for you.
3. Watch your weight
A lot of arthritis is located in the knees, hips and even the ankles, due to excessive weight. Our bones and cartilage suffer from extra weight and end up causing problems. Try to always watch your weight to prevent any arthritis.
4. Good diet
There is a series of foods that can help reduce the advancement of arthritis. They act as protectors and cartilage regenerators. It is important that you include the following foods in your diet:
- Omega-3 fatty acids: essential for protecting cells angainst inflammation caused by cytosines and enzymes that erode joint cartilage. Olive oil, oily fish, salmon, soy…are very good.
- Vitamin C: anti-inflammatory and basic for treating arthritis. Do not forget to eat kiwi, papaya, strawberries, lemons, oranges, pineapple, Brussell Sprouts, peppers…
- Beta-carotene: foods with beta-carotene protect us against inflammatory arthritis. Include orange or yellow colored fruits and vegetables in your diet, like carrots, pumpkin, cantaloupe, apricots, peaches, mandarins…
- Foods with bioflavonoids: prevent joint inflammation. You can find these components in blueberries, onion, leeks, blackcurrants, blueberries…
5. Half an hour of exercise a day
You don’t need more than half an hour a day. Be that what it may, you still need to be persistent and don’t force your body too much. A walk, walking with a friend, swimming a bit, biking, and even a gentle yoga session. All this will give your joints mobility and will prevent them from becoming stiff. This is important.
6. Be careful of your posture, your habits and your movements
- Plan your days so you can do several different things. Avoid always doing the same thing with the same joint because over time, you could feel its effects. If you need to hold the same position because of your job, try to do small exercises to avoid overloading yourself.
- When lifting heavy objects, for example, try to hold the object close to your body and move as directed in the drawing. Take care of your posture, how you sleep, and even how you use the computer. Any movement that you make in a repetitious fashion could cause wear.
- Avoid tensions, because this causes joint fatigue and pain.
- End your day with a hot bath to alleviate muscular tension and joint pain. Massages are also very beneficial.