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Osteoarthritis in Old Age - How It Can Be Prevented?

DNB, Diploma In Orthopaedics (D. Ortho)
Orthopedist, mumbai  •  14 years experience
Osteoarthritis in Old Age - How It Can Be Prevented?

Are you aware of a disease called osteoarthritis that is more likely to develop in case you are aging? Osteoarthritis is a disease, which affects the joints of your body. It occurs when the cartilages that protect and cushion your bones break down, causing swelling and pain, and may make you immobile. The chances of developing osteoarthritis increase with age as your cartilages start breaking down. Women who are beyond menopause are at a higher risk of getting this disease as they do not produce estrogen, which is essential for bone growth. There are several precautions you should follow for the prevention of osteoarthritis, especially if you are aged. They are as follows:

  1. Manage your occupational risks
    • Certain jobs involve repetitive motions, which cause stress on your joints.
    • If your job or occupation involves a lot of lifting, twisting, kneeling, and walking, you should consult a doctor.
  2. Exercise
    • It is important for you to undertake exercises of low impact, which is very crucial for improving joint health, even if you are aging.
    • You should choose activities that involve strength training along with stretching and aerobic exercise.
    • Regular exercise helps in the slowing down or prevention of osteoarthritis. It helps you in maintaining healthy joints, reducing fatigue and pain, increasing your bone and muscle strength, and relieves stiffness.
  3. Maintaining a healthy body weight
    • Excess weight is a primary risk factor for osteoarthritis, especially if you are aged. It cxauses extra stress on your joints that boosts the deterioration of your joint cartilage.
    • If you are obese and overweight, your chances of developing osteoarthritis are more. Hence, you should lose extra weight for improving the symptoms.
  4. Rest
    • Although exercise is important for keeping your joints and muscles healthy, you should avoid overdoing them.
    • Have a balanced lifestyle, and when your joints become achy or swollen, give them a break.
    • Abstain from using your swollen joint for at least 12 to 24 hours after experiencing them. Letting your injured joint rest helps in reducing your risk of osteoarthritis.
    • Fatigue increases pain in osteoarthritis patients, and hence you must sleep properly.
  5. Control your blood sugar
    • Diabetes is considered to be an important risk factor for osteoarthritis in aged individuals.
    • High glucose levels may boost the formation of molecules that make your cartilage stiff.
    • Diabetes also triggers inflammation, and promotes cartilage loss.
    • It is important for you to keep your diabetes and blood sugar levels under control for preventing osteoarthritis.

In spite of no specific cure for osteoarthritis, there are several ways of preventing and managing its symptoms. It is very important for you to maintain a healthy lifestyle and a balanced diet, and also to try and keep away from becoming obese.

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