Currently, more than 20 million people in the U. S. have OA, and that figure is expected to skyrocket to 70 million by the year 2030.
The disease is especially common among those 65 and older. OA is often caused by everyday wear and tear on joints. "When you walk, each step you take puts about three times your body weight on your knees and seven times your body weight on your ankles, " says Bernard R. Rubin, D. O. M. P. H. , a professor of medicine and chief of the Division of Rheumatology at the University of North Texas Health Center in Fort Worth Texas.
Being overweight increases the risk of developing OA, not just because of the added stress and pressure being placed on the joints. Research has found that people who are overweight have an increased risk of developing OA in their hands and fingers, Dr. Theodosakis notes, and nobody knows why.
But staying at a normal weight or losing weight can help lower your risk. Maintaining your agility and balance with stretching exercises, yoga, tai chi or Pilates can help prevent injuries and chronic microtrauma to the joints. It's also important to stick with a healthy, balanced diet that is rich in fruits and vegetables, vitamins C and D as well as omega-3 fatty acids, found in cold-water fish such as salmon and tuna. Other beneficial foods include walnuts and canola oil, which help reduce inflammation.
Good avoidance advice is to stretch, practice a little yoga, and stick with a healthy, balanced diet with lots of fruits and veggies, sprinkle a little walnuts on those breakfast items and love to eat things that swim in the lakes or the sea.
Ray Attebery is the Managing Director for Daily Health Updates, a breaking health news national service for TV and Radio broadcast stations in the United States. He is also the President for The Centre for Pain Relief in New York City.
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