What can you do to prevent premature wear and tear on your joints and therefore reduce the risk of having to one day get a knee or hip replacement?
Maintain a healthy body weight The heavier a person is, the more pressure is placed on the “weight-bearing” joints (the ones that carry the body, such as the knees and hips). For that reason, 27 percent of all hip replacements and 69 percent of knee replacements might be associated with obesity.
Go low-impact Impact sports are thought to be harmful to the joints. Aerobics, jogging on uneven ground and skiing over moguls are all examples of activities to avoid if you wish to protect your joints. On the other hand, swimming, walking and cycling are all excellent choices for keeping your joints moving, healthy and strong.
Avoid injury Major injuries that require surgery greatly increase the risk of osteoarthritis. For example, 50 percent of individuals who have had a knee injury (particularly a torn anterior cruciate ligament or meniscus) suffer from osteoarthritis in that knee 10 to 20 years later. It’s worth making the effort to steer clear of situations where there is a high risk of injury.
Stay fit The better your muscle tone, the lower your risk of injury is. The shock-absorbing muscles around your joints spread the stress of impact across the joint.
Get informed about natural products Many natural products claim to be effective against osteoarthritis, but only glucosamine sulphate has been shown to have modest benefits against osteoarthritis of the knee in reputable studies. None of the other supplements have been the object of a good-quality research, or they produced inconclusive results when subjected to such studies. Take the time to get informed before spending money on a natural product and only buy products that bear a Health Canada Natural Product Number (NPN code on the container).