How to avoid developing arthritis as you age

According to a recent study conducted in the United States, approximately 60% of individuals between the ages of 50 and 80 reported being told by a healthcare provider that they had some form of arthritis. However, it should be said that developing arthritis is not an inevitable consequence of aging. 

Kelly Dominique Allen, an exercise physiologist at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine, explains that people often dismiss aches and pains in their joints assuming it’s a normal part of aging when, in fact, there are various types of arthritis with different causes.

Allen emphasizes that arthritis encompasses over 100 different conditions, and many of these are not solely related to age.

Certain types of arthritis, like osteoporosis, are more commonplace among individuals over 50, particularly women. Wayne McCormick, MD, a geriatrician at the University of Washington School of Medicine, adds that osteoarthritis, a degenerative joint disease, is more likely to occur with age, but it is not a guarantee for everyone.

developing arthritis

Family history and certain chronic diseases, including obesity, heart disease, or diabetes, can also contribute to developing arthritis. McCormick notes that although some people may experience joint pain that limits their activities as they age, others may have significant joint damage visible on X-ray images but not feel any pain.

To prevent developing arthritis in later years, the study suggests adopting preventive measures many years in advance.

This includes taking precautions to avoid joint injuries during sports or exercise, and if injuries do occur, ensuring proper recovery. Regular physical activity, maintaining a healthy weight, and practicing low-impact exercises like stationary biking can also help greatly.

developing arthritis

Additionally, knee or ankle braces, over-the-counter pain relievers, and steroid injections into the affected joints may provide varying degrees of relief. While nutritional supplements and herbal remedies might assist in alleviating symptoms for some individuals, scientific evidence supporting their effectiveness remains limited.

Ultimately, the best approach to reducing the risk of developing arthritis later in life involves living a pain-free, healthy, and active lifestyle. The measures that reduce the risk of other chronic diseases like diabetes or heart disease also play a significant role in minimizing the likelihood of age-related joint diseases.

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