Tips to Help You Avoid Arthritis

Tips to Help You Avoid Arthritis

Osteoarthritis is a type of arthritis that tends to develop as you age or as a result of joint overuse or injury. Though arthritis and its stiff, painful joints is usually viewed as an inevitable companion to your older years, you can take steps now to keep your steps more limber in the future.

Kimberly Bolling, MD, a skilled and caring internist, diagnoses and treats all types of arthritis — including osteoarthritis — at her clinic in Bowie, Maryland. If you’d like to prevent arthritis, or reduce its severity, here’s what you should do now.

Attain and maintain a healthy weight

Extra pounds put extra stress on your joints. One of the best ways to keep your joints healthy is to be sure you’re at a healthy weight for your frame. A healthy weight makes it easier to move and get the daily exercise you need to keep your joints — and your entire body — healthier too.

If you’ve been frustrated with diets that only temporarily help you lose weight, Dr. Bolling may recommend medically supervised weight loss. Under her supervision, you lose unhealthy pounds quickly and painlessly, and make the lifestyle changes you need to maintain your new physique permanently.

Get moving

The phrase “use it or lose it” refers to joint mobility too. Though it may seem counterintuitive if you already have stiff, painful joints, the best way to keep arthritis at bay or prevent its worsening is to move frequently and exercise regularly.

Moving your joints causes them to release a lubricating fluid called synovial fluid. Synovial fluid allows your joints to move smoothly, without grating, and helps keep them moisturized and healthy.

You don’t have to spend hours at the gym either. Just a few minutes a day can add up to all of the exercise you need. Even housework, gardening, and walking count.

Ideally, you should also strengthen and stretch your joints’ supportive tissues, such as muscles and tendons. Dr. Bolling helps you design an exercise routine that incorporates resistance training, stretching, and cardio.

Switch up your diet

Delicious fatty fish such as salmon are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which help reduce inflammation. Inflammation is at the root of arthritis and almost all types of disease. Try having salmon, mackerel, or sardines at least twice a week.

Trade out pro-inflammatory sugars, seed oils, and processed foods for plenty of rich, colorful, flavorful fresh fruits and vegetables. 

Although you may have a hard time initially when you give up your favorite “comfort foods” for healthier choices, once you’re used to eating a whole-foods diet, you won’t miss the junk food at all.

Take safety seriously

If you play sports or engage in manual labor, be sure you wear protective gear at all times. When you injure a joint, it’s more likely to develop arthritis. 

Repeating the same motions over and over, such as bowing a violin or striking a hammer, stresses and wears down your joints. If you must make repetitive motions for your job or hobby, work with a physical therapist to strengthen your joints and to find more efficient, less stressful ways to move.

Get help now

If your joints are already stiff in the morning, or if you have pain or swelling in your joints, Dr. Bolling may recommend medications that subdue inflammation and control pain. Choices might include:

If you have rheumatoid arthritis, which is an autoimmune disease, she might also prescribe immunosuppressive drugs.

Don’t accept arthritis as an inevitable consequence of aging. Learn more about how to change your lifestyle to prevent arthritis or reduce the burden of your current disease by contacting us today. 

Call our Bowie, Maryland, office today at 301-352-0090 or request an appointment online for today.

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