Can I prevent Osteoarthritis? The age old Question
The answer is Yes and No.
I never let my patients put all the blame for their osteoarthritis on ‘getting old’ It’s true that the older you get the more likely you are to show signs and symptoms of the disease but the exciting part is that there are a lot of things that you can do for yourself that will at least slow down the disease. As chiropractors, we know that one of the main factors involved is osteoarthritis is joint injury or mechanical stress to a joint. Your joints are mechanical. If they are not moving properly, or overcompensating and moving too much, the simple reality is that they will wear down and degrade quicker. When we painstakingly map the mechanics of your spine, we are looking for patterns where one joint may be injured and locked and another joint, perhaps directly above, will be overcompensating. In this situation it is really important to restore proper mechanics so that we encourage each joint to operate properly that way they were designed to. There are other things as well you can consider:
Maintaining Ideal Body Weight – carrying unnecessary weight will place additional stress on your joints.
Watch your posture – The more your posture deviates from the ideal, the more stress will be put on your joints.
Don’t smoke – The compounds in cigarettes diminishes the fluid exchange in the discs of your spine and other joints which can lead to joint wear.
Nutritional assistance – A healthy diet, plenty of water and certain supplements such as Fish oil may help.
Exercise – Light to moderate weight bearing exercise can help you but be sure to speak to a health professional. Hint: not everyone should be running.
Don’t ignore pain – Pain is one of the signs that your joint is injured. Get it looked at.