There are a lot of bones connected to your knees, hips, wrists, fingers, etc joints, all the way down to your toes. Whenever two bones meet there is cartilage between there and this ensures that the bones and joints move smoothly. Cartilage can break down over time or become inflamed and sore. There is a membrane called synovium that provides the fluid that lubricates these moving joints. This is what causes osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis is the wearing out of this area and becoming inflamed.
Osteoarthritis is when there is no cartilage left and the bones are rubbing against each other. This takes a lifetime to develop and is due to wear and tear placed on the joints. Many people end up with some osteoarthritis, however the severity does differ. People over 50 usually show some signs of having it, both men and women are affected equally, and it is the most common type of arthritis.
Rheumatoid arthritis is when the synovium is damaged and doctors still are not sure what causes it or how it happens. They do theorize that possible it is a disease in which the immune system attacks tissues in the body including the joints. Rheumatoid arthritis involves swollen, red, stiff, and painful joints, sometimes involving scar tissue and the worst case scenario is when the bones actually fuse together. Women are more commonly affected by rheumatoid arthritis and can hit as early as in the teens.
You can however lessen your chances of these types of arthritis. Doing some weight bearing, low impact exercises and stretches can achieve the results you are looking for. Lessening some of the arthritis pain and strengthening your joints and muscles flexibility. Regardless of your age, doing this will improve your situation and any pain you might be having. Also, this is a great way to try and stop the progression of arthritis and improve your joints early on.
Physicians have come up with a few ways to lower your risk or improve your situation and they are:
- do not wait to start improving your joints and muscles. The sooner you start the better. Losing weight will also take off excess stress and strain to these bones and joints.
- stretching the muscles and keeping them flexible will also lower your risks. Joints becoming stiff is never good for the joints and muscles. For example, stretching and holding it for 15 to 20 seconds and then repeating this will loosens the tendons and joints.
- taking walks is the easiest exercise to improve mobility and joints. We do this all the time, however going for a walk at a steady and even pace a few times a week will help you to lose weight and keep your joints active.
Whether you already have arthritis or are trying to prevent it, working out and trying some of the above mentioned exercises will improve your situation. Starting early and keeping your joints flexible and in shape will be your best shot at not having arthritis, getting later in life than typically, or improving the condition you already have. Using your body and working out will always help keep you fit and healthier.