Everything You Should Know about Osteoarthritis

9th May 2019
Why does osteoarthritis occur? Osteoarthritis occurs from joint cartilage damage and makes bones more vulnerable to impact and grinding. Joint rigidity and pain are normal consequences.

Osteoarthritis is the damage to joint cartilage, leading it to weaken or even disappear over time. As joint cartilage weakens, its ability to protect joints does as well, which causes pain and discomfort in the affected area.

Osteoarthritis exposes bones to grinding, friction, and impacts. As a result, bones become deformed with the progression of the condition. When there are irregularities in cartilage, rigidity and intense pain are natural consequences.

Linking osteoarthritis with advanced age is the wrong assumption. While the number of cases does rise with old age, more and more young people are suffering from it as well. Caring for your joints is the best form of prevention.

Physical activity is always recommended for a healthy lifestyle. However, remember that depending on a person, some activities are more appropriate than others.

Main causes of osteoarthritis

Here are the following factors that lead to osteoarthritis:

  • Physical or joint alignment congenital anomalies that make correct movement impossible.
  • Obesity is a big factor. Knee and hip joints, for example, suffer the most under obesity. In any activity, these joints have to support the body’s weight and pay the price.
  • Weak muscles is another serious factor that leads to the condition. Muscles are responsible for holding the body in place. If they’re not strong enough, the frame falls, wearing down cartilage and rubbing against joints.
  • Lack or excess of exercise leads to injuries or overworks your body.
  • A sedentary lifestyle, stress, tobacco-use and former joint injuries can also be factors for osteoarthritis.
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Tips for preventing osteoarthritis

While exercise is always recommended to stay healthy, make sure you take the right precautions. You can reduce joint damage by just following a set of basic guidelines.

1. Develop muscle capacity

Working on muscles without pressuring joints is essential. Strong, surrounding muscles protect joints from impact. They also improve coordination and flexibility.

2. Do exercises that are appropriate for your age and health condition

Knowing your limits is incredibly important. Going past your limits can be more harmful than helpful. Always make sure that your body is safe and comfortable.

Young people have a higher risk of damaging their developing cartilage by partaking in too much physical activity. In the case of adults, their joints are already naturally worn down, which should be taken into consideration when exercising.

3. Use the right gear for every sport to prevent osteoarthritis

Sports can be high or low impact. But every sport can directly impact joints positively or negatively. It all depends on using the right shoes or other basic elements for prevention.

In sports such as track and field or basketball, feet and knees play a bigger role. In light of that, wearing the right shoes for these activities can be a huge help. Additionally, ankle and knee braces are a great support accessory as well.

4. Learn the proper techniques

Carried away by the excitement of starting a sport or reaching goals, it’s easy for many people to forget about their technique. Analyze your movements carefully and learn earnestly from professionals. On top of providing better results, they’re ways of preventing joint and muscle injuries.

Avoiding sprains, tears and the like can help prevent osteoarthritis. It’s not actually the physical aspect of sports or exercises themselves that cause the condition, but rather recurrent injuries. 

5. Follow a good diet and rest well

A diet that’s rich in vitamins and nutrients plays a fundamental role in any athlete’s life. Besides maintaining a healthy weight, a proper diet provides athletes with the right elements for joint care.

Foods rich in vitamin E and hyaluronic acid are especially recommendable for prevention care. They supply the body with the hydration it needs to stay elastic and lubricated. Vitamin E also reduces joint inflammation.

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Recommended exercises

Walking, swimming and cycling are all recommended forms of exercise for people who suffer from osteoarthritis. They are free from impact and contact, which protects muscles, cartilage, and bones.

While there’s no pharmacological treatment for eliminating osteoarthritis, you can find painkillers that reduce the painful symptoms. If you notice pain in your joints, make an appointment to talk with your doctor.