Arthritis prevention and management

World Arthritis Day takes place on Thursday 12 October, and with a rapidly aging population here in Australia, arthritis is a disease likely to cause increasing concern in the coming years. It already affects nearly four million Australians, and although young people can develop arthritis, it mainly affects the older portion of the population.

Arthritis affects people in many different ways. Over 100 conditions fall under the umbrella of arthritis including osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and gout. Giving support and assistance to someone with arthritis requires a very specific form of care.

While genetics can be a factor in whether a person develops arthritis or not, a healthy lifestyle has a big role to play, reducing the risk of developing arthritis and benefiting your all-round health and wellbeing:

1 – Diet matters

Healthy eating is so important. Be sure to include plenty of fruit and vegetables in your diet, as well as eggs and fish such as tuna and mackerel – the omega-3 fatty acids in these fish are good for the joints.

2 – To drink, or not to drink?

Some studies have found that drinking moderate amounts of alcohol can help reduce the risk of rheumatoid arthritis. However, alcohol is not advisable for sufferers of gout, a type of arthritis caused by the crystallisation of uric acid in the joints.

3 – Exercise

Regular exercise will keep your weight down, reducing the stress on your knees and ankles, thereby helping lower the risk of arthritis. It keeps muscles strong and joints supple, so that they face less wear and tear.

4 –  Avoid injury

Impact sports where twisted knees and ankles are common should be undertaken with care, or avoided altogether. Cartilage damage sometimes leads to arthritis later in life. Also pay attention to safe lifting guidelines – bend at the knees to use your leg strength rather than straining your back when lifting, and carry heavy objects close to your body so as not to damage your wrists.

5 – See your doctor

If you are experiencing joint pains, see your doctor. Find out what it is and get it treated. If it turns out to be arthritis, detecting it early is the best way to control the disease and maintain your mobility.

More information on the symptoms and treatment of arthritis can be found on the Arthritis Australia website.

If you want to find out more, or have any questions about the kind of care Twilight Aged Care can provide for someone with arthritis, don’t hesitate to get in touch. Call Twilight Aged Care today on 02 9414 4400.

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