Truth? There’s no guarantee that anyone can completely prevent arthritis. Joint inflammation is a very natural part of life. There are, however, some things you can do to decrease your risk factors and slow its progression. Working now to stay healthy and mobile will play a huge role in the development of arthritis later in life.
Unfortunately, there are over 100 different causes of joint pain. Arthritis conditions can be caused by normal wear and tear on the joints, inflammation from an infection, or as the result of a chronic disease. Some of these factors simply can’t be modified. For example, women with a family history of joint pain will find they are more likely to develop joint pain than people who do not have a family history.
The good news is that you can modify some of the risk factors associated with joint pain. You can avoid osteoarthritis by maintaining a healthy weight and doing low-impact exercises; you can avoid gout by eating a diet low in sugars and alcohol; or you can decrease your risk factor of an arthritic flare by not smoking.
The harder you work to avoid an episode of inflammation, the better your odds. Once arthritis starts, you may be able to slow the progression, but not completely stop it. Staying away from high-impact sports and activities, wearing the right protective gear, and protecting yourself from ACL tears can all go a long way in preventing or slowing the progression of the disease.
Researchers don’t fully understand all of the causes of joint pain and arthritis. They rely heavily on the identification of risk factors to anticipate whether or not someone may need to take action to ward it off. It’s also important to disclose any pertinent information – even about illnesses and infections – to your doctor when discussing joint pain. Any information you can give can help your doctor figure out exactly what form of arthritis you may have.
The good news is there’s more research on arthritis coming out all the time. New discoveries, treatments, and preventative therapies may be on the horizon.