Known as the “wear and tear” type of arthritis and is associated with factors such as aging, injury or obesity; Osteoarthritis is one of the several types of arthritis and also listed as a common form of arthritis next to rheumatoid arthritis. Although sometimes most of these types of arthritis have similar symptoms, it is important to distinguish between them in order to determine the proper treatment.
Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis, affecting millions of people worldwide. It occurs when the protective cartilage on the ends of your bones wears down over time. Although osteoarthritis can damage any joint in your body, the disorder most commonly affects joints in your hands, knees, hips and spine.
Although osteoarthritis was long believed to be caused by the “wear and tear” of joints over time, scientists now view it as a disease of the joint. Here are some of the factors that contribute to the development of Osteoarthritis:
Genes: Various genetic traits can make a person more likely to develop Osteoarthritis. One possibility is a rare defect in the body’s production of collagen, the protein that makes up cartilage. This abnormality can cause osteoarthritis to occur as early as age 20. Other inherited traits may result in slight defects in the way the bones fit together so that cartilage wears away faster than usual.
Weight: Being overweight puts additional pressure on hips and knees. Many years of carrying extra pounds can cause the cartilage that cushions joints to break down faster. Studies suggest that excess fat tissue produces inflammatory chemicals (cytokines) that can damage the joints.
Injury and overuse: Repetitive movements or injuries to joints (such as a fracture, surgery or ligament tears) can lead to osteoarthritis. Some athletes, for example, repeatedly damage joints, tendons and ligaments, which can speed cartilage breakdown. Certain careers that require standing for long periods of time, repetitive bending, heavy lifting or other movements can also make cartilage wear away more quickly.
Others: Several other factors may contribute to osteoarthritis. These factors include bone and joint disorders like rheumatoid arthritis, certain metabolic disorders such as hemochromatosis, which causes the body to absorb too much iron, or acromegaly, which causes the body to make too much growth hormone.
There is no cure for Osteoarthritis, however you can manage symptoms and reduce risk factors. If you do develop Osteoarthritis, there are many lifestyle changes you can make to slow the course of the disease. A number of lifestyle factors affect your risk of developing Osteoarthritis. Making certain lifestyle changes can help you improve your joint health and prevent Osteoarthritis. Exercise
Low-impact exercise can improve joint health. Look for activities that include strength training and stretching in addition to aerobic exercise. Regular exercise can help slow down, or even prevent, Osteoarthritis. Exercise helps people by:
- maintaining healthy joints
- relieving stiffness
- reducing pain and fatigue
- increasing muscle and bone strength
2. Maintain a Healthy Weight
Excess weight is one of the biggest risk factors of Osteoarthritis, as it puts extra stress on your joints, which can speed up the deterioration of joint cartilage. Overweight and obese individuals are at high risk of developing Osteoarthritis. Losing weight can help reduce pain and improve symptoms
Exercise can help people develop healthy joints and muscles, but overuse of joints can increase the risk of developing Osteoarthritis. The key is balance. If your joints are swollen or achy, give them a break. Try to avoid using a swollen joint for at least 12 to 24 hours. Letting an injured joint heal helps reduce the risk of developing Osteoarthritis there in the future.
4. Control Sugar Intake & Level
High glucose levels can speed up the formation of molecules that make cartilage stiff, and diabetes can also trigger inflammation that can accelerate cartilage loss. Keeping diabetes under control and regulating your glucose levels can help prevent Osteoarthritis.
Although there is no cure for osteoarthritis, there are many ways to prevent it and relieve and manage its symptoms. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle with low-impact exercise, getting plenty of rest and enough sleep, and maintaining a healthy diet and weight are simple ways you can reduce and manage Osteoarthritis symptoms so that you can live a healthy and fulfilling life.
How Shaklee can help with Osteoarthritis? Check out below!
- Joint Health Complex – Promotes healthy joints
- OmegaGuard – Supports joint function
- Cinch – Helps with weight loss and keeps a healthy BMI
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