If you have osteoarthritis rheumatoid arthritis, then you know that the disease is considered to be progressive and debilitating. That doesn’t mean that you can’t learn how to prevent arthritis progression.
As science continues to unravel the mysteries of arthritis, we are learning more and more about what can be done to reduce the severity of flare-ups, protect joint health, and slow the progression greatly.
Once you have your symptoms under control you need to start looking at the changes you can make in your life to increase the quality of your life and stop the arthritis from getting worse.
Understanding what arthritis is
As much as we know about arthritis, there is even more that we don’t know. It is a degenerative joint disease that can affect the ligaments, tendons and muscles of the joints. It usually appears as an inflammation. In the case of osteoarthritis (OA), the bone starts to grow, which reduces the room that the cartilage has to provide cartilage and eventually reduces the cartilage itself.
With rheumatoid arthritis (RA), the joint is inflamed for immunological reasons. The swelling can affect all the elements of the joint and lead to the destruction of cartilage, muscle, nerve, and tendon and ligament tissue. Both OA and RA have a strong tendency to be inherited, but it can also be induced through a variety of lifestyle habits.
What makes it worse?
What we do know about both types of arthritis is that there are many different factors that can make them worse and speed their progression. For both cases, the best way to learn how to prevent arthritis progression is to maintain a healthy weight, avoid inflammatory foods, exercise and maintain a wellness program that improves the quality of your life. Many people have also turned to alternative treatments – such as Ayurvedic medicine, acupuncture and herbal treatments with a great deal of success too.
Here are some basic tips on how to prevent arthritis progression that you can start doing today.
Improving your Diet
Making changes in your diet is one of the best ways to stop flare-ups and to prevent arthritis progression. There are many foods to avoid when you have arthritis – which include ones with refined sugars and carbohydrates. There are also foods that you should eat that can help to promote circulation and joint health.
Go beyond milk and learn more about the types of fruits and vegetables that can deliver the nutrients your bones and muscles need to repair themselves, and that help to support a healthy immune system. You also need to make sure that you are maintaining a healthy body weight.
If you are trying to really learn how to prevent arthritis progression then you need to accept that the most important thing you can do is to keep your weight down to decrease the load-bearing pressure on the joint.
Tip #1 – Get yourself moving
It may be the last thing that you want to do but you have to get moving and begin to exercise on a regular basis to prevent arthritis progression. Not only is movement of the affected joint important to keep the joint flexible, but movement also helps the lymph system of the body to flush out toxins so your muscles and joints can repair damage. Movement also improves your general health and is a necessary part of being able to keep your weight down.
Tip #2 – Reduce Inflammation
No matter if you have rheumatoid arthritis or osteoarthritis you need to reduce the inflammation that is occurring in your joints. You can take OTC or prescribed anti-inflammatory medications, you can also use a variety of foods and herbal supplements that are known to reduce chronic inflammation. One of the key ways to keep inflammation low is to make sure that you are maintaining a healthy weight, and that you are avoiding overworking the joint that is in pain. That doesn’t mean to avoid moving it, but to make sure that the extent of your exercise program is focused on keeping it moving without overstraining it.
Tip #3 – Plan ahead
Many sufferers of arthritis report that the weather and certain activities have a known impact on their symptoms. If you consider that every time you have a flare-up the symptoms can mean that the arthritis is progressing – it begins to make good sense to begin to track the weather and events (like traveling) that tend to trigger your arthritis. If you can plan ahead for these days when you know there is a higher risk of flare-up, you can adjust your expectations and take extra care to avoid activities that will induce the pain. By avoiding aggravating the arthritis, you give it less of a chance to gain a hold of a new area of your body.
Tip #4 – Consider complementary treatments
There are many different complementary and alternative treatments for both types of arthritis that people are reporting success with using. Whether you want to try yoga, massage, acupuncture, Ayurvedic treatments or hypnosis – don’t dismiss a technique until you have tried it and seen if it works for you. Very often what works the best is a combination of traditional and complementary methods. Medication can help ease the pain of arthritis enough to then allow the non-medicated avenues of treatment to be followed. By combining them both, you stand the best chance for discovering how to prevent arthritis progression that works for you.
The best way to learn how to prevent arthritis progression
The best way to learn how to prevent arthritis progression is to talk to your doctor about a holistic program that looks at all of the contributing factors in your life. You can then come up with a plan, that may well include complimentary treatments, but that also provides you with a way to measure your progress. Arthritis doesn’t have to take over your life, you can learn to control the chronic pain associated with it and to stop the progression of arthritis so you can rediscover life again.