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The Struggle is Real With Arthritis

By Donna Stark

If you are one of the millions who suffer from arthritis on a daily basis, the struggle is real. And "suffer" is no exaggeration, not by any stretch of the imagination. Arthritis hurts. It hurts on so many levels, levels that many people don't even consider. You see, when most people think of arthritis, they think only of the physical pain and sure, there is plenty of that to go around. But there are also other things to consider. Did you know that people with arthritis have high rates of depression and anxiety, an increased risk for heart and kidney disease, and potential issues with eyesight, hearing, and sleep? It is a struggle to live like that, but fortunately, there are some things that can help.

Build Your Arsenal

There is no sure way to prevent arthritis from entering your life, but there are some measures that can be taken to reduce some of the risks and delay the potential onset. So if you have healthy joints right now, it's wise to take some immediate action. Here are some suggestions.

  • Maintain a healthy weight - Obesity will increase the risk of getting arthritis in some of the cases, but in all of the cases, it makes arthritis worse. 
  • Do not smoke - In addition to contributing to the development of rheumatoid arthritis, smoking also decreases the effectiveness of some drugs that are actually used to treat it. Smoking also creates a barrier to proper exercise, which has been shown to provide relief from arthritis symptoms.
  • Try to avoid sports injuries - Many sports injuries can lead to osteoarthritis down the road, so be careful! Use the proper equipment, get adequate training, and play safely to keep that from happening.
  • Consume a healthy diet - Choosing a diet packed with calcium, Vitamins C and D, omega-3 fatty acids, and antioxidants will help maintain the strength and integrity of your joints.
  • Exercise - In addition to strengthening the muscles around the joints, exercise also helps the body to lose any unwanted excess pounds and maintain a healthy weight.
  • Protect what you have - Being very intentional about protecting your healthy joints now is the way to go! Learn proper lifting techniques, focus on maintaining good posture, and use support when sitting for long periods of time.

Keeping What You Already Have

Inflammation, pain, decreased mobility, joint instability, deformity  the physical symptoms of arthritis can be devastating, so do everything you can now to avoid them. The clear takeaway with all of this is that in order to maintain optimal joint function and to avoid potential future pain and disability, the time is now to start establishing healthier habits. You have a lot to live for and many more moments to capture with friends and family, so be proactive because if you don't, the struggle will end up being very real.

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Sunset Hills, Mo.

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