Boomeritis:  Arthritis can be prevented

Boomeritis: Arthritis can be prevented

Arthritis is avoidable
Arthritis is the leading cause of disability in America.  Cases of arthritis are expected to increase by more than 40% in the next 20 years.  Currently, 1 in 5 adults, almost 50 million people, suffer with arthritis.  More than half of those affected are under age 65 and women are diagnosed more frequently than men. 
A common misconception about arthritis is that it's an unavoidable part of getting older; but there are a number of steps you can take today to prevent and manage arthritis:
  •  Lose weight.  Losing one pound takes 4 pounds of pressure off your knees!
  • Take  nutritional supplements
  • Maintain flexibility (take a Yoga class)
  • Stay active
  • Reconsider:  Nicotine, alcohol and caffeine
  • Women:  Eat soy or consider hormone replacement therapy

What is arthritis?

Arthritis is a degenerative condition characterized by progressive loss of cartilage along the joint surfaces, bone spur formation and inflammation within the joint cavity.  This process results in less cushioning and more friction causing pain, swelling, and loss of motion.  There are more than 100 forms of arthritis and related joint conditions.

Weighing In

An important first step in arthritis prevention is reaching and maintaining a healthy weight.  Extra weight places additional stress on your joints which can lead to arthritis and other problems.  If you are overweight, this means starting and sticking to a healthy diet and exercise routine.  If your weight is within normal limits continue to keep it that way by eating right and working out.

Nutritional Supplements

The nutritional supplements of glucosamine and chondroitin have been shown in clinical studies to be effective in controlling the symptoms of arthritis, and there is growing evidence that they may modify or impede the progression of arthritis.  Antioxidants reduce inflammation in the body which helps to reduce the discomfort of arthritis pain.


Stretching is an important part of avoiding the inflammation, stiffness and pain that accompanies arthritis.  Taking a Yoga class is an excellent way of learning the proper stretches for each body part, and learning how far to stretch.  Beginning or maintaining a regular routine of therapeutic massage will also help increase flexibility and reduce inflammation in the body.

Knock out your Vices

Smoking and drinking beverages containing alcohol or caffeine put you at increased risk for developing arthritis.  Smoking and alcohol consumption have been shown to weaken bone structure.  Caffeine decreases calcium absorption and increases calcium excretion.

Eat Soy

Being post-menopausal puts women at increased risk for developing arthritis.  Once the ovaries stop producing estrogen, calcium levels tend to decrease causing a loss in bone mass.  Soy contains phytoestrogens which mimic the effects of estrogen in the body.  If you're soy sensitive, consider hormone replacement therapy.

Recognize your Risk Factors

Certain factors place you at higher risk for developing arthritis.  Lifestyle adjustments may be necessary to reduce some risk factors that are beyond your control (age, genetics).  Risk factors for developing arthritis include:

  • Age:  Older people experience more wear and tear on their joints simply as a side effect of growing older.
  • Obesity:  Carrying excess body weight puts more pressure on your joints (especially knees and hips) and can lead to accelerated breakdown of your body's cartilage.
  • Overuse or injury:  If you are an ex-athlete or have a job or hobby that requires repetitive movement, you are at increased risk.  The same holds true for people who have had past bone or joint injuries.
  • Genetics:  Studies show that genetics can play a role in the development of arthritis.

Most of the things that can be done to prevent arthritis are within your control.  Make today the day you start on the road to better health and wellness.  Become a member of the Luminesce Health for Life Club, which allows you to enjoy unlimited massage throughout the month for only $59.00.

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Copyright © Janet Lawlor, BCTMB