Arthritis is an inflammation in the joints. The most common forms of arthritis are osteoarthritis (OA) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA), though there are more than 100 different types with different causes and treatments.
While arthritis can develop in young adults and even children, it is most common in people over the age of 65. Women are more prone to developing arthritis than men, and other factors such as being overweight and having a family history of the disorder can increase your likelihood of developing it.
Sadly, there is no known cure and no sure way to prevent arthritis. Most treatments aim to recognise and prevent arthritis at early stages of its development. However, you can reduce your risk factors and delay the onset of some forms of arthritis. If you currently have healthy joints, the most important thing you can do it to maintain their flexibility and mobility.
- quitting smoking can lower your chance of developing RA
- practice good posture. If you spend a lot of time in front of a computer, raise the screen to eye level to avoid slumping
- maintaining a stable and healthy weight can reduce your risk of developing OA
- avoid or take precautions when pushing or lifting heavy objects where possible
- keep physically active. It’s important to prioritise activities that are easy on your joints, such as swimming, walking and yoga
- do regular hand exercises to keep your ligaments and tendons flexible. This may include bending, flexing, and touching your fingers to your palms and thumbs
- to avoid gout, eat a healthy and well-balanced diet that is low in sugar and alcohol
- avoid sporting injuries, as some tears and damage may lead to OA in the future.
Do you have a family history of arthritis? Do you currently have arthritis or do you worry about developing it?
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Disclaimer: This article contains general information about health issues and is not advice. For health advice, consult your medical practitioner.