While there is no guaranteed way of completely preventing arthritis, there are still a lot of things you can do to help reduce the severity of it. Of course, prevention should start as soon as possible and often requires that you take preemptive measures in your daily lifestyle.
Lifestyle changes that can help reduce the severity and impact of arthritis can include nutritional changes and exercising. Read below for more exercises and foods that you can incorporate into your daily life to reduce and prevent arthritic pain.
What is Arthritis?
Arthritis can be described as tenderness and swelling in one or multiple joints, and according to Mayo Clinic, this pain can increase with age. These symptoms often include swelling, stiffness, pain, and a decreased range of motion. Furthermore, arthritis and its severity can depend on your age, weight, sex, family history, and your history of injury. Since age is a huge factor in the increase and severity of arthritis, we recommend starting prevention early.
What foods can help prevent arthritis?
Foods with antioxidants
Antioxidants can help reduce or slow down cell damage, and while they do not directly reduce pain or swelling, maintaining a diet rich with antioxidants can help protect your joints. A few antioxidant rich foods are listed below, but more can be found here:
- Red or Purple Grapes
Foods with Omega 3 Fatty Acids
Omega 3 Fatty Acids are known to reduce inflammation and improve heart health. Since they reduce inflammation, increasing the daily intake of Omega 3 is often recommended to people with rheumatoid arthritis. If you’re trying to make nutritional changes to help reduce or prevent this pain, experts recommend about two full servings of a food or supplement with Omega 3 weekly. Below are some foods that are high in Omega 3 Fatty Acids:
- Flax seeds
- Chia seeds
What exercises help prevent or reduce arthritis pain?
General Exercise can help reduce arthritic pain
Exercise can often help reduce joint, and therefore arthritic pain, but make sure you are practicing low impact exercises if your goal is to prevent or reduce joint pain. This includes activities with little-to-no jumping, as jumping can be a huge stressor on the joints. Exercises that are good for joint health and pain prevention include:
- Strength training
- Water aerobics
Remember, these exercises are low-impact and reduce stress on your joints. Developing a regular exercise routine can help with increasing strength and flexibility, two key components to either preventing or reducing arthritis pain. Additionally, having a regular exercise routine can help you maintain a healthy weight, which also reduces the amount of stress on your body, therefore lessening arthritic pain.
What exercises can help your specific areas of pain?
We may all experience arthritic pain in different areas, which means finding exercises for your specific areas of pain. Below are a few common areas of arthritis-related pain, and exercises you can try to help lessen it. It is important to note that all exercises, in order to increase effectiveness, should be done regularly.
- Hand Pain: If you are experiencing hand pain because of your arthritis, or you want to do your best to prevent this, try to incorporate hand stretches into your daily routine. These stretches can include: making a fist and outstretching your fingers, finger bends, and thumb bends. The full list, pictures, and directions for these stretches can be found on Healthline’s Website.
- Knee Pain: Creaky knees are almost everyone’s problem. Exercises that can help reduce pain, and increase mobility include: half squats, one leg dips, and a lying down hamstring stretch. The full list and descriptions of these stretches are found here.
- Shoulder Pain: Our shoulders are equally important to help keep our bodies moving as we grow older. Don’t forget to take care of your shoulders, and try these exercises: crossover arm stretch, wall crawl, and wall push-ups. Pictures and instructions can be found here.
If you’re struggling with arthritic pain, or are wondering what exercise plan and diet changes can help, Healthpointe has physicians and services that can help you! Schedule an appointment here, or call (888) 824-5580 to see what will work best for you.