Wellness Wednesdays: Arthritis Prevention

Image: Wellness Wednesdays: Arthritis Prevention

In this edition of Wellness Wednesdays, we look at prevention techniques for avoiding arthritis.

As you or your loved one ages, you may notice that you/they are faced with increasing joint and muscle pain which may be related to arthritis. According to The Arthritis Society of Canada, there are over 100 different types of arthritis conditions, but the common denominator among them all is joint and musculoskeletal pain. The pain is typically a result of inflammation of the joint lining.

Signs and Symptoms of Arthritis

If you are unsure as to whether you or your loved one is suffering from arthritis, here are a few common warning signs/symptoms to look out for:

  • Joint pain
  • Joint tenderness
  • Joint swelling
  • Joint redness
  • Fatigue
  • Stiffness of joints, particularly in the morning
  • Easy bruising
  • Shortness of breath
  • Painful urination

Preventing Arthritis

Although there is no guaranteed cure for arthritis, there are several steps you or your loved one can take to prevent arthritis from worsening. These include:

  • Maintaining a healthy body weight—excess body weight is one of the most significant risk factors for arthritis. The added pressure is hard on your joints.
  • Trying low-impact exercises—high-impact exercises such as long distance running may put a lot of stress on the joints. Try lower-impact exercises instead, such as water aerobics or swimming.
  • Increasing your Vitamin D and calcium intake—Vitamin D and calcium are important in developing strong bones and can aid in arthritis prevention.
  • Staying hydrated—the cartilage in our joints is made up mostly of water. Dehydration can lead to a shortage of water in the cartilage which can cause more damage and joint pain.
  • Seeking early diagnosis and treatment—the longer the disease persists, the more damage may occur to you/your loved ones’ joints. Early diagnosis and treatment can help slow or prevent this damage from occurring.

Speak to a doctor if you/your loved one are experiencing joint or muscle pain. They may be able to suggest treatment options that can minimize your/your loved ones’ discomfort.

Here are some helpful organizations/websites if you are looking for more information:

The Arthritis Society of Canada

Arthritis Research Canada

Arthritis Alliance of Canada

Canadian Arthritis Patient Alliance (CAPA)

Arthritis Research Foundation

Don’t miss our next edition of Wellness Wednesdays where we look at common foot problems among seniors and tips for healthy foot care!