Although there is no sure way to prevent various types of arthritis, people can reduce their risk or delay the onset of certain forms of the disorder, according to the Arthritis Foundation.
These 10 methods could help to prevent arthritis:
1. Maintaining a healthy weight helps reduce the risk of osteoarthritis. Healthline reports that overweight women are nearly four times as likely to develop knee osteoarthritis as women who maintain a healthy weight.
2. Not smoking or quitting smoking may help someone avoid the onset of rheumatoid arthritis.
3. A healthy diet low in sugar, alcohol and purine sources, such as liver, poultry and pork, may work for gout, another form of arthritis, the Arthritis Foundation notes.
4. Fish containing omega-3 fatty acids may reduce inflammation in the body, according to Healthline. Sources of omega-3s include salmon, mackerel, trout and sardines.
5. Exercise helps to keep the weight off, and it also builds up muscles in areas around the joints for protection. Healthline recommends alternating exercises that include activities such as walking or swimming with strengthening exercises along with stretching for flexibility.
6. Avoiding injury is a way to prevent the onset of arthritis. Injuries may cause damage to the cartilage near the joints to bring on the crippling disease.
Wearing protective gear during contact sports and learning the proper way to exercise helps to avoid injury.
7. Women who drink moderate amounts of alcohol may have a lower risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis, according to The BMJ, formerly the British Medical Journal.
Moderate drinking means one glass a day for women and two glasses a day for men.
People should consult their doctor about drinking before using it as a preventive measure.
8. People can have their vitamin D levels checked by a doctor as a means to prevent arthritis, according to Dr. Scott Zashin, rheumatologist and clinical professor of medicine at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School.
“Patients who have adequate levels of vitamin D have less progression of osteoarthritis,” Zashin told Everyday Health. Sources of vitamin D include omega-3-rich fish and milk fortified with the vitamin.
9. Staying properly hydrated also helps to prevent arthritis because cartilage needs an adequate supply of water to cushion the joints. Drinking six to eight cups of water a day may keep the cartilage healthy.
10. Eating plenty of fruits and vegetables with vitamin C may prevent osteoarthritis. Vitamin C supplements help to increase bone density, writes Dr. Harvinder S. Sandhu in SpineUniverse, an information site on conditions related to the spine.
People should check with their doctor about dosage when using vitamin supplements to prevent arthritis.