Reducing Your Risk of Osteoarthritis

There are no real methods for preventing the development of osteoarthritis. However, following certain preventive measures may slow its progression. Such measures include:

Maintain an Appropriate Weight

Keep your weight in an appropriate range for your age, height, and body type. Carrying excess body weight can put increased stress on your bones and joints. By maintaining a healthful weight, you can reduce the stress on your body.

Avoid Certain Activities

Although exercise is good for your body, you may want to avoid activities that might injure your joints or that require intense, repetitive joint motion, or repetitive stress on “at risk” joints.

Eat a Balanced Diet

Eating a healthful diet is crucial to bone and joint health. Eat a nutritious diet rich in calcium and vitamins C and D.

Begin an Exercise Program

Participating in a safe exercise program will strengthen your muscles, which will help support and stabilize your joints. And these muscles help to absorb some of the energy, or "shock," delivered to the limb.

References:

Arthritis Foundation website. Available at: http://www.arthritis.org/ .

Cecil Textbook of Medicine . 21st ed. W.B. Saunders Company; 2000.

Conn’s Current Therapy . 54th ed. W.B. Saunders Company; 2002.

National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases website. Available at: http://www.niams.nih.gov/ .

Manek NJ, Lane NE. Osteoarthritis: current concepts in diagnosis and management. American Family Physician . 2000;51(6). Available at: http://www.aafp.org/afp/20000315/1795.html.



Last reviewed February 2007 by Robert E. Leach, MD

Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.


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