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If you’re over the age of 65, you’re at much higher risk for showing signs and potentially developing osteoarthritis (OA). Osteoarthritis is a disease in which the cartilage that covers the ends of the bones at the joints breaks down, and subsequent overgrowth of bone occurs over the joints. It’s painful and it can cause a lot of stiffness and fatigue.

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Osteoarthritis becomes more prevalent as we age, although not all people who grow old will experience the disease. Research conducted on the subject indicates that there are ways to help prevent osteoarthritis or its progression, lessening the severity of its damage.

To avoid or reduce the risk of developing osteoarthritis, here are a few suggestions to try:




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1. Eat Anti-Inflammatory Foods

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There is no such thing as a formal osteoarthritis diet, but there are certain fats and vitamins that have been associated with reduced symptomatic pain from the condition.
Omega-3 fatty acids, for example, helps reduce joint inflammation, while unhealthy fats can increase it. Good sources of omega-3 fatty acids include olive oil, flaxseed, soybean, canola, walnuts, plant oils and fish oil (from fish).

Incorporating a diet rich in Vitamin C also helps reduces the risk of osteoarthritis progression by three times. You can get more vitamin C in your diet by eating foods like strawberries, broccoli, leafy greens, green peppers, tomatoes, turnip greens and citrus.

Besides Vitamin C, Vitamin D has been shown to help reduce the risk of osteoarthritis progression by up to three times as well. Some of the good sources of this vitamin include mackerel, sardines, herring, salmon, tuna, vitamin D-fortified cereals, milk and eggs.

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2. Exercise

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Regular exercise can also help reduce the risk of osteoarthritis. The safest exercises are those that place the least body weight on the joints, such as light resistance training, swimming, bicycling, as well as aqua aerobics.

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3. Be Injury-Conscious When Exercising

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If you have ever injured yourself as a youngster, childhood injuries predispose you to osteoarthritis, usually in the same joint where the injury occurred. Injuring a joint as an adult may put the joint at even greater risk.

To avoid joint injuries when exercising or playing sports, warm up before exercising, cool down after exercising, and keep your feet as flat as possible during stretches to avoid twisting knees. Also, try exercising on a soft, shock absorbing surface, and at the same time, make sure you put on good athletic shoes with good shock absorption and stability to protect those joints. Also, when jumping, land with bent knees and avoid bending your knees past 90-degrees.

Finally, if you suffering from any joint injury make sure you seek medical treatment as soon as possible so as to avoid further damage. Also, modify your high-impact movements to more knee-friendly versions, and use a brace if you need to stabilize the joints.
 
 
4. Shed The Weight

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Losing weight and maintaining a healthy weight are vital in preventing osteoarthritis because obesity is a big risk factor for this arthritic condition. Women are 4-times and men 5-times more likely to develop osteoarthritis if they have significant weight problems or are obese.

This is because the added fat and body weight puts a significant amount of strain on the joints, particularly those that bear the body’s weight such as the knees, feet and hips, causing cartilage to erode around the joints. By shedding those excess pounds, you can drastically reduce the likelihood of developing osteoarthritis by more than 50%.

If you already have osteoarthritis, losing weight will definitely help your condition.
 
 
Author’s Bio:

David Novak writes a syndicated newspaper columnist, appearing in newspapers around the country. He also writes for several other publications, where his byline has appeared in the likes of USA Today and the Wall Street Journal. David is a health and fitness enthusiast, as well as a technofile, reviewing the latest in consumer electronics and fitness gadgets. He contributes to Healthline weekly. For more information, visit http://www.healthline.com.




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