Have you heard about osteoarthritis? According to the Brazilian Society of Rheumatology (SBR)the disease, popularly known as arthrosisis characterized by the wear of the joint cartilage and by important bone alterations, such as osteophytes, also called “parrot beaks”. The symptoms of osteoarthritis can range from severe pain in the joints to swelling in the fingers, even causing changes in the way the patient moves, as many end up limping.
If you don’t want to face any of these annoyances, there are ways to help prevent osteoarthritis. Thinking about it, the Life Care interviewed the rheumatologist Licia Maria Mota, who indicated the best ways to prevent osteoarthritis, especially for those who are over 40 years old, the stage of life in which the disease becomes more frequent. Check it out!
Osteoarthritis: What is it? How to prevent the disease?
Osteoarthritis is a multifactorial condition that causes joint wear and tear. “This means that it is formed by genetic and environmental predisposing factors”, emphasized the doctor. What people can do to prevent arthrosis is to delay the onset of disease symptoms by paying greater attention to factors that can be prevented and/or corrected.
The doctor explains: “The first step is keep body weight under control and the percentage of fat within the normal range. This makes a lot of difference in the occurrence of osteoarthritis and also in the intensity of symptoms. Not to mention that the fatty tissue produces inflammatory substances” – which is a risk for the disease to worsen and, consequently, for the emergence of complications.
Additionally, Dr. Licia also recommends the regular practice of physical exercises to maintain a good level of muscle mass. “Aerobic physical activities for maintaining body weight and cardiovascular conditioning and exercises focused on muscle strengthening for the prevention of osteoarthritis, such as pilates, yoga and weight training itself – if done correctly and without too much overload”, says the expert.
Does the prevention of arthrosis change after 40 years of age?
There are two types of osteoarthritis: primary, when its cause is unknown, and secondary osteoarthritis, when the condition is caused by a malformation, trauma or other disease. Especially in its primary form, osteoarthritis is less frequent before the age of 40. Its emergence begins after this age group and increases at 60 years of age, and a large part of the population over 80 has some clinical or radiographic manifestation of osteoarthritis.
However, the measures indicated as a way to avoid the appearance of the symptoms of the disease do not change. The rheumatologist advises: “Controlling the increase in body weight and maintaining muscle strength is essential after the age of 40, as it is at this age that symptoms begin to appear”.
It is also important to beware of so-called vicious postures. “When reading, using the computer, the cell phone or when spending long periods in the same position working, it is necessary for the patient to stretch the muscles”, warns the rheumatologist. The doctor still recommends not spending too much time sitting and sleeping in the correct position – which is on your side and with a pillow that keeps your head and neck well aligned.
Osteoarthritis x body weight: understand the role that weight plays in the development of the disease
You must have noticed by now that the body weight it’s a super important factor for osteoarthritis, right?! According to Dr. Licia, it is essential that a patient with arthrosis maintains weight very rigorously: “This is because, the more weight on an axis, the greater the mechanical overload of the joint. There is also the effect of fat, which is an inflammatory tissue that produces substances that affect the preservation of weight within normal limits”, warned the doctor. Therefore, do not give up a healthy diet, much less the practice of physical exercises throughout your life to keep your weight in the ideal measure!