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Lifestyle changes to prevent arthritis

Your lifestyle choices affect all aspects of your physical well-being, and that includes your joints — especially if you have arthritis. Pain management and lifestyle changes are often recommended as a first course of treatment for osteoarthritis of the hip and knee. The knee is particularly prone to arthritis as it is a weight bearing joint which carries the load when we walk.

Here are some tips that you can use to help you prevent the onset of arthritis:

Weight loss

Being overweight can lead to more pain and damage to hips and knees affected by Osteoarthritis. Even modest weight loss (eg. five percent reduction in body weight) can noticeably reduce symptoms of knee Osteoarthritis*. Every kilo of weight you gain adds 3 to 4kilos of extra weight on your knees. There is also a clear link between being overweight and an increased risk of developing osteoarthritis*.

Exercise

Exercise is one of the most important treatments for Osteoarthritis of the hip and knee. To protect your sore joints, try low-impact activities, where there is less weight going through your hips and knees. Examples of low-impact activities include cycling, swimming and walking. You may also want to try stretching exercises that help to strengthen muscles around the hip and knee.

Diet

There is no diet that will cure Osteoarthritis, but a diet aimed at maintaining an ideal body weight is the key to preventing the onset arthritis. Extra body weight increases the stress on many joints, particularly the knees, hips and lower back. Consider eating the following types of foods to help prevent arthritis:

  • Monounsaturated fat such as vegetable oils (olive oil, canola oil, sunflower oil), avocados and many nuts and seeds
  • Omega-3 fats such as fish, fish oil supplements, ground linseeds and linseed oil, canola oil, walnuts

Try to avoid or reduce the intake of saturated fats which mainly come from red meat, poultry and full-fat dairy products.

Factors such as age and trauma can cause arthritis, however there are many things you can do now – such as managing your weight, diet and exercise –  can help prevent, or even delay, the onset of arthritis.

If you have tried the conservative treatments and made appropriate lifestyle changes and are still experiencing extreme pain even from your arthritis, contact Dr Shidiak for a consultation today.

*Reference: www.arthritisaustralia.com.au

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