How to reduce the risk of arthritis symptoms

By 18/02/2024March 14th, 2024Advice, Ageing Well
Elderly woman experiencing knee pain from arthritis

Arthritis is a broad term that refers to inflammation of one or more joints in the body. It is a common condition that can affect people of all ages, genders and backgrounds. There are more than 100 different types of arthritis, but the two most common forms of arthritis in older people are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.

While ageing is a significant risk factor for developing arthritis, not everyone will develop arthritis as they get older. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle, managing chronic health conditions and practising joint-friendly habits can help reduce the risk of arthritis symptoms and improve joint health.

What are joint-friendly habits?

Joint-friendly habits are lifestyle practices and behaviours that promote healthy joints and help prevent or manage arthritis symptoms. These habits can help reduce stress on the joints, improve joint mobility and function and alleviate pain and inflammation. 

Maintain a healthy weight – excess weight puts added stress on our joints, particularly weight-bearing joints like the knees, hips and spine. Maintaining a healthy weight through a balanced diet can help to reduce the risk of joint problems and alleviate arthritis symptoms.

Stay active – regular exercise is essential for maintaining joint health and mobility. Low-impact activities such as walking, swimming, cycling and tai chi can help strengthen the muscles around the joints, improve flexibility and reduce joint stiffness. Aim for around 75 to 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise per week, as well as strength training exercises targeting major muscle groups. You can find additional information on exercise for the elderly in our blog.

Practise good posture – maintaining good posture can help reduce strain on the joints, particularly the spine and neck. When sitting, standing or lifting heavy objects, aim to keep your spine straight, shoulders back and head aligned with your spine. Avoid slouching or hunching forward, which can put extra stress on the joints and lead to muscle imbalances.

Protect your joints – when lifting, carrying or bending, use proper body movements to protect your joints. Bend your knees and hips instead of your back when lifting heavy objects. Use a cart or trolley when carrying heavier loads, to reduce strain on the joints.

Take breaks and rest – listen to your body and take breaks as needed, especially during activities that involve repetitive movements or prolonged periods of sitting or standing. Allow time for rest and recovery to prevent overuse injuries and reduce the risk of joint pain and inflammation.

Avoid high-impact activities high-impact activities can put excessive stress on the joints and exacerbate joint problems, especially in people with arthritis or joint injuries. Choose low-impact activities that are easier on the joints.

Manage stress – chronic stress can exacerbate inflammation and pain in the body, including joint pain. Practice stress-reduction techniques such as deep breathing, meditation, yoga or relaxation to help manage stress and promote relaxation, which can in turn benefit joint health.

By incorporating these joint-friendly habits into your daily routine, you can help support healthy joints, reduce the risk of joint problems, improve overall joint function and mobility, and reduce your risk of contracting osteoarthritis in your later years.

Why choose Bright Care

Bright Care offers companionship style home care that focuses on building meaningful relationships, establishing trust and can help your loved one to eat well and remain active. Our tailored home care services provide peace of mind for families who cannot always be there to care for their loved ones.

If you would like to know more about the home care services we offer to those in their later years, please get in touch with our team today. 

We are recruiting exceptional Care Assistants in the South East of England and Scotland. If you are interested in a rewarding career in care, please apply now.

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