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Some forms of arthritis can be treated, but types of arthritis like osteoarthritis is simply the gradual compromise of the joint from wear and tear. Autoimmune arthritis can be treated with anit-inflamatory medications and autoimmune medications, while septic arthritis is a problem with infection affecting the joint that can be treated with antibiotics. Generally if you are hard on your joints, then there is a higher liklihood of having arthritis.
Arthritis is not inevitable. The more aggressive we are in preventing and treating the early symptoms, the more we can reduce the probability of developing arthritis and/or allowing it to worsen.
Rheumatoid arthritis: Currently, there is no known method of prevention for rheumatoid arthritis (RA).
Osteoarthritis: Individuals who maintain a healthy body weight have a decreased risk of developing osteoarthritis. Eating a healthy and well-balanced diet may help individuals control their weight. The U.S. government issued a revised food pyramid in 2005 in an effort to help Americans live healthier. The new pyramid provides 12 different models, which are based on daily calorie needs, ranging from the 1,000-calorie diets for toddlers to 3,200-calorie diets for teenage boys.
Regular exercise may also help patients control their weight. There are many ways for people to exercise including gardening, walking, sports activities, and dancing. Patients who are beginning an exercise program should choose activities that fit their levels of strength and endurance. The type of exercise is not as important as a consistent exercise schedule. Most experts today agree that burning calories should not be the goal of exercise. Exercise that causes extreme pain or discomfort is considered by many experts as unhealthy and may even cause permanent damage to the body.
Periarthritis: Patients can reduce their risks of developing periarthritis by avoiding injuries. In order to reduce the risk of injury, all workouts should begin with a warm-up routine and end with a cool-down segment that includes stretching exercises. Patients should talk to their healthcare providers before starting new exercise programs.
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Currently, there is no certain way to prevent any form of arthritis. In general, though, a healthy lifestyle may help reduce your risk or reduce your symptoms. A diet that is low in calories and saturated fats and high in whole grains, fruits, and vegetables may be helpful. Regular exercise, especially swimming and anything that involves stretching, may reduce your risk. Exercise and diet can help you maintain a healthy weight, which also may help reduce your risk for arthritis. Exercise with care, though; avoiding overuse or injury to the joints may also reduce the risk of osteoarthritis.
The best way to prevent arthritis is to avoid being overweight, since that puts stress on the joints of the lower body, particularly the knees. Also, try to avoid abnormal joint stress by wearing proper shoes and by keeping the muscles around the joints strong and well supported. Consider cross training to prevent any single exercise from constantly wearing on the same joints over and over.
This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.