If you know anyone who has arthritis or osteoarthritis (like many people in my family), you may want to read this post Things You Should Know About Arthritis. Dr. Ben Kim discusses the different types of arthritis, possible causes, and some suggestions on how to manage and reduce further damage. I really like the suggestions he provides since I think they’re useful for optimal health for anyone, not just people with arthritis. Here’s a summary of some of his suggestions:
- Strive to stay at a healthy weight. Every pound of unnecessary weight accelerates degeneration of the cartilage that lines all of your weight-bearing joints, from your ankles, knees, and hips, all the way up through the intervertebral joints throughout your spine.
- Strive to reduce impact during repetitive weight-bearing activities. When taking part in athletic activities, use appropriate footwear, socks, and insoles that provide shock absorbing cushioning. Whenever possible, choose softer surfaces over harder ones; for example, jogging every day on sand or grass rather than pavement should spare your joints of significant wear. When there’s no getting around pounding a hard surface, give your joints ample time to rest and recover. When your tissues take a beating from intense physical activity, they become inflamed, and if you allow the process of inflammation to do its job, your tissues should recover and be ready for more work; if you stress your tissues while they’re trying to recover during the inflammatory process, you increase your risk of developing a chronic injury.
- Be an avid stretcher. There’s no position that puts more strain on your intervertebral joints than the seated position. You can slow the pace at which your spine develops degenerative changes by taking regular breaks throughout the day to stretch.
- Adopt Eating Habits that Facilitate Optimal Digestion.Chew food thoroughly to heal digestive track. When you chew well, you allow your digestive tract to efficiently break down nutrients in your foods into smaller building blocks that can pass through the wall of your small intestine into your blood. Whenever you do not chew well, your digestive tract and organs take on the burden of trying to accomplish what is much easier for your teeth to take care of.
- Eat Foods that Optimally Nourish Your Cells and Cause Little to No Harm. This includes fruits, whole grains, and a lot of vegetables (raw and steamed).
- Ensure Optimal Vitamin D Status. When sunlight is not regularly available, as is the case in the northern hemisphere throughout the late fall, winter, and early spring months, it is important to ensure adequate vitamin D intake through foods that are naturally rich in vitamin D.