Over time, our bodies experience wear and tear on our joints. The cartilage provides cushioning and can act like a shock absorber that allows bones to move smoothly over one another. Arthritis causes the cartilage to break down and can lead to painful bone-on-bone movements.
While arthritis is common, it’s not just because of age. There are ways to help prevent the wearing away of cartilage.
Protect yourself from arthritis
Arthritis is the failing of a complex biochemical process of cartilage cells trying to heal areas of damage. Genetics, age, gender and race can play a role in the process. There are factors you can’t control, but there are some ways you can help.
- Protect your joints at work – When you’re at your desk, you can make a big different in your joints. Make sure your chair supports your lower and middle back. Your elbows should sit at a 90 degree angle from your keyboard. For those of us that stand while working, keep a close eye on your posture. Don’t favor one leg and shift your weight occasionally.
- Stretch your joints – Stretching prevents stiffness and keep pain from setting in. If you sit a lot, make it a point to get up and take a brief walk around the office every 30 minutes to help keep your joints moving and the blood flowing.
- Stay fit – Keep off excess weight to avoid putting extra pressure on your joints. Our bodies are not designed to handle a lot of extra pounds and obesity can cause pain in many of your joints. Stay active and eat healthy to keep those extra pounds off.
- Stay hydrated- Water, water, and more water. You’ve heard it a dozen times before, but water is crucial to your health. Your cartilage is made up of mostly water, but when you aren’t hydrated, the cartilage can get dried out and put you at risk for injury. Try between 6-8 cups of water a day.