Sourced with thanks from firstpost.com
Some reports have suggested that bone health is one of the most neglected aspects of healthcare in India. Degenerative diseases of the bones also known as osteoarthritis typically affect people in their old age and middle age. The article below tries to put it in perspective and what could be done by you to prevent it affecting you. Team RetyrSmart
Managing bone health to preventing osteoarthritis
Osteoarthritis: The degenerative bone disease
Osteoarthritis is a condition which can affect different joints of the body but usually targets the weight-bearing joints such as knees, hips and ankles. The person may complain of painful stiff joints which may swell up sometimes. The swollen joints can either be hard and wobbly (due to growth of extra bone) or can be soft (due to thickening of the joint lining).
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Ways to prevent osteoarthritis
There are certain simple ways in which a person can prevent osteoarthritis, some of them are:
Maintain a healthy weight:Obese and overweight people are at an increased risk of getting this disease as their joints (especially the knees and hips) are under extra load and stress. It is believed that with each extra kilogram of the body weight, the compression over the knees increases by 2 to 4 kilograms.
Eat healthy food:Your diet should contain the appropriate amount of nutrients which are necessary for maintaining proper bone and joint health. This includes calcium, vitamins D and C, phosphorus and proteins. Among all these, calcium is the most important mineral, necessary for the growth and development of the bones. You can add calcium to your diet by adding food items such as milk, cheese and other dairy products or you can take supplements as well. If you don’t get enough sunlight, you will have to take vitamin D supplements for the absorption of calcium in the body. On average, an adult should consume 800 to 1000 international units of vitamin D per day.
Exercise regularly:In order to keep your joints healthy, you must indulge in weight-bearing exercises which require bones and muscles to work against gravity and resistance, thus improving their strength. Exercising regularly not only helps in improving the range of motion, flexibility and function of the joints but also helps in maintaining a healthy weight. It is necessary to have an exercise programme to strengthen the muscles especially quadriceps and hamstrings for patients who have osteoarthritis of the knee joint. Exercise should be avoided if there is severe inflammation in the joints.
Practice yoga:Various studies have shown that yoga helps in improving the mobility and function of the knees, thus reducing the joint pain. Yoga helps in building muscle strength, increases the range of motion and improves balance. Since yoga does not involve vigorous exercises, it is also safe for patients of osteoarthritis.
Do not overuse your joints:While eating healthy and exercising regularly is necessary for joint health, preventing the exhaustion of joints is equally important. Continuous bending of knees, frequent squatting, sitting cross-legged or kneeling for a long time can increase the risk of osteoarthritis of the knee. Try to avoid overdoing all of these postures to prevent over-working the joints.