Osteoarthritis (OA) is caused by deterioration of cartilage and is the most common form of arthritis; however, there are more than 100 different types, including rheumatoid, psoriatic and crystal arthropathy such as gout. All forms of arthritis cause pain and in part are non-preventable.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that nearly half of all adults will experience arthritis by the time they’ve reached age 85. Inflammatory Arthritis, an autoimmune disease that involves the body producing antibodies that attack its own tissues, is most common in women due to biology, genetics, hormones and the prevalence of obesity in women
According to the CDC, you can reduce your risk of developing arthritis by taking small steps, like making changes in your diet, exercising, reducing risk of injury and consulting your physician. If you’re already experiencing the symptoms of arthritis—joint pain, swelling, stiffness and fatigue—you may have a few questions that, once answered, will provide you with not only physical relief, but peace of mind.
We went to the experts at Altru Orthopedics and Sports Medicine to answer your questions about arthritis.
Is Arthritis Preventable?
Nothing can absolutely prevent arthritis. However, appropriate weight bearing exercise and injury avoidance can be helpful to help prevent arthritis.
Does Diet Affect My Arthritis?
Diet can affect arthritis if an individual becomes overweight because of poor diet choices. Increased weight gain causes excess stress on the knee and hip joints and can lead to increased pain.
What Exercises Can I Do With Arthritis?
Low impact exercise for those with hip and knee arthritis is best. Well-cushioned shoes are recommended. Pool walking or pool exercises are good way to exercise when one has hip or knee arthritis to reduce the load on degenerative joints. Flexibility and stretching as well as muscle conditioning and strengthening can also help arthritis. Physical therapists at Altru can coordinate an appropriate exercise program for those living with arthritis.
Should I Be Placed on Medication for My Arthritis?
Medications can be helpful for arthritis. Options can be directed through an individual’s primary provider and may include anti-inflammatories, glucosamine chondroitin sulfate and Tylenol.
How Can I Manage My Arthritis?
Therapeutic massage, as well as acupuncture or acupressure, can be beneficial.