Tips to Prevent and Control Arthritis

Get active:

Regular physical activity helps build and maintain healthy bones, muscles and joints. It also helps to control joint swelling and pain.

Change positions often:

Avoid keeping muscles and joints in the same position for long periods of time. Stretch and relax areas that are tired or tight.

Practice joint protection:

If you work with your hands for long periods of time, use assistive devices when possible, such as wrist splints and arm rests. Utilize equipment that can reduce pressure on your joints such as enlarged grips on your pens and utensils.

Resolve to reduce:

You won’t just look better; you’ll feel better, too. Every extra pound you carry translates to added stress in your knees, hips and lower back. Maintaining an appropriate weight lowers your future risk of getting osteoarthritis, the most common form of arthritis.

Avoid unnecessary risk of injury:

Proper use of equipment and protective gear can greatly reduce the chance of serious joint injuries when participating in sports activities. This applies to young children and adults of all ages.

Bone up your diet:

Stock up on your favorite source of calcium. A diet rich in this important mineral can help decrease your risk of osteoporosis. Try consuming more milk and milk products, such as yogurt, cheese and ice cream, along with other good sources of calcium: broccoli, salmon (with the bones) and kale.

Stretch yourself:

Stretching is a simple way to keep joints and muscles flexible. It relieves stress and can help enable you to maintain your daily activities. Also, by stretching at the beginning and end of your exercise sessions, you will enhance your range of motion, avoid injuries and reduce soreness - but be sure to warm up muscles first before stretching (a five-minute walk serves as a good warm up routine).

Make a date with your doctor:

Getting a medical diagnosis is important if you think you have arthritis. Arthritis is a general term for more than 100 different diseases and related conditions that affect joints, bones and muscles. Getting the right treatment begins with getting the right diagnosis.