Over 54 million adults in the United States who have arthritis or an arthritis-related condition. This works out to around 23% of the population.
Unfortunately, there isn’t one concrete way to prevent arthritis. But, while you may not be able to prevent it completely, there are things you can do to reduce your risk of developing it in the first place.
You can also potentially delay the onset of arthritis symptoms from different types of arthritis. If you currently have healthy joints, you want to take proactive steps to maintain your functionality and mobility levels to avoid the disability and pain that is widely associated with the onset of arthritis.
Currently, there are over 100 different types of arthritis and arthritis-related conditions known. Every person has individual features, risk factors, circumstances, and behaviors that commonly get associated with arthritis.
There are also risk factors that you can’t do anything about out because it’s not possible to modify them. For example, having a genetic profile (family history) of arthritis or being a female are two factors that can make you more likely to develop certain types of arthritis. It’s not certain that you will develop it simply because of these factors, but they do increase your overall risk.
On the other end of the spectrum, we have risk factors that you can do something about. These are modifiable, and they’re circumstances or behaviors you can make changes to delay the onset, reduce your risk, or prevent arthritis from progressing. A few examples of modifiable risk factors that can reduce your risk of developing arthritis or arthritis-related disease include but are not limited to:
- Gout – Changing your diet to be one that is healthier can help prevent gout. This means reducing your sugar intake, purines, and alcohol.
- Osteoarthritis – You can help prevent the onset of osteoarthritis by getting down to and maintaining a healthy weight for your height. You may change your diet and incorporate exercise into your daily routine to help with this goal.
- Rheumatoid Arthritis – The single biggest thing you can do to slow down the progression of rheumatoid arthritis is to stop smoking. It’s better if you don’t smoke altogether, but quitting can immediately lower your risk.
In some instances, taking steps to prevent an incident from happening in the first place can significantly lower your risk of developing arthritis. Avoiding sports injuries is one big preventative measure you can take by having the correct equipment and adequate training. Also, safe play can help to prevent ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) tears. This is important because injuries to your ACL set the stage for osteoarthritis development years or even decades after the initial injury.
Today, scientists and researchers don’t fully understand the mechanisms that cause arthritis or arthritis-related diseases to develop. This makes true prevention of these health problems impossible. However, research is pushing the boundaries. There is real hope that one day, some or all types of arthritis and arthritis-related conditions can be completely prevented.
Consider it. Many types of arthritis are widely viewed as being the result of a combination of an environmental trigger like a toxin or virus combined with a genetic predisposition or family history. Identifying the trigger for each type of arthritis may be the key to unlocking arthritis prevention. This includes people who have a genetic predisposition.
Due to the Arthritis Foundation’s interest and discoveries in the areas of scientific research and programs, arthritis prevention and cures may be a reality in the near future.
Contact Douglas J. Roger, MD for Help to Alleviate Your Arthritis Symptoms!
Do you suffer from arthritis or an arthritis-related disease and you want to get relief? If so, contact us! An orthopedic surgeon at Desert Regional Medical Center in Palm Springs, Dr. Douglas J. Roger has helped thousands of people with arthritis get back to their lives without pain, and we want to help you too!