As the specific causes of the different types of arthritis remains unclear, it is difficult to say what may assist in the prevention of the development of arthritis. However, listed below are a few steps which may be beneficial in reducing the effects of arthritis.
- Maintain appropriate weight. Excess bodyweight increases the stress on joints, especially weight-bearing joints such as the knee and hips.
- Protect joints from injuries and overuse.
- Regularly exercise to maintain healthy bones, muscles and joints.
- Regular Physiotherapy care is of benefit too, ensuring optimal spinal and joint range of movement and flexibility.
- Hydrate your body. Water makes up 70 percent of the cartilage in joints and plays a major role in the lubrication and shock absorbing properties of healthy joints.
- Eat a well-balanced diet. This will help to maintain general good health.
- Avoid crash dieting or fasting.
- Increase dietary calcium to reduce the risk of osteoporosis in later life.
- Drink plenty of non-alcoholic fluids.
- Sports and recreational activities are important for children with arthritis, to help them develop confidence in their physical abilities.
- They should be encouraged to pick a sport or activity of interest, while parents, GPs and physiotherapists provide guidance on maximum joint protection.
- Activities that exercise joints and muscles without putting too much stress on them, like swimming, should be encouraged.
Physiotherapy treatment has a large part to play in the overall management of arthritis.