Osteoarthritis Prevention

Knowing your risk factors for osteoarthritis, monitoring your health, and making lifestyle changes can help prevent osteoarthritis. Risk factors you can control include being overweight, having joint injuries, and putting repetitive stresses on the joints. A person with these risk factors can work to prevent the disease by maintaining a healthy weight, taking a practical approach to protecting the joints, and breaking exercise up into short sessions.

Can Osteoarthritis Be Prevented?

There is an old saying that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. This is certainly true when it comes to osteoarthritis prevention. Preventing this disease begins by understanding osteoarthritis and its risk factors, and then using that knowledge to make good decisions that help control them.
Regardless of your age, background, or health status, you can lower your risk of osteoarthritis. Protecting your joints doesn't have to be complicated. It can be as simple as taking a brisk walk, whipping up a good vegetable soup, or getting the support you need to maintain a healthy weight.
Steps for effectively preventing osteoarthritis involve:
  • Knowing your osteoarthritis risk factors
  • Monitoring your health and making lifestyle changes.

Preventing Osteoarthritis: Know the Risk Factors

Osteoarthritis prevention begins by knowing the risk factors for osteoarthritis. Risk factors are conditions or behaviors that increase your chances of getting a certain disease. Some risk factors can be controlled and some cannot. Also, the more risk factors you have, the greater your chances of having osteoarthritis.
Some risk factors for osteoarthritis that you cannot change include:
  • Getting older
  • Gender
  • Genetics
  • Certain medical conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis or gout.
Some risk factors that you can control include:
  • Being overweight or obese (see BMI Calculator)
  • Having weak thigh muscles
  • Having joint injuries
  • Putting repetitive stresses on the joints.
(Click Causes of Osteoarthritis for more information about traits, conditions, and other factors that may increase a person's chances of developing this condition.)
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