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Thereâ€™s many sports that put a lot of strain on the joints all over your body. Track and field is definitely one of them, and particularly for your knees. Now granted, most people who play high-intensity sports regularly enough to be putting a LOT of wear and tear on their body are younger in age. But not all of them. You may know how to prevent arthritis, but it’s a whole lot more difficult to do as you get older. That’s why the story of Flo Meiler is so noteworthy. If you were to see her picture you’d think she’d be more interested in learning how to prevent arthritis in knees rather than how she can add inches to her average pole vault or long jump score.
Why is that? Well, Flo is 84-years young, and she recently competed in the World Master Athletics Championship in Poland. She competed in the pole vault, long jump, 60-meter hurdles, 800 meters, and the pentathlon. Again, all done at 84 years of age. Now we can assume that Mrs. Meiler benefits from taking glucosamine sulfate or any other of the many products for treating arthritis, but perhaps we shouldn’t even assume that. She trains hard to stay in good shape, and no doubt her joints have benefitted from her commitment to staying fit.
Right, we can’t all be like Flo. So we turn our focus today to how to prevent arthritis and share some tips for that aim in the interest of those of us who likely won’t be airborne under their own power ever again.
One of the unfortunate realities of arthritis is that you tend to be born with a predisposition for it. For that reason arthritis is inevitable for many people. So in answer to how to prevent arthritis, the fact is you often can’t. What you can do, is reduce your risk factors for developing arthritis and take steps to delay its onset. This is particularly recommended for people who have parents with arthritis, as again it’s a condition that ‘runs in the family.’
Females get arthritis more often than males, but knee pain and immobility are equally unpleasant for either gender. Not surprisingly, knees and ankles are two of the worst spots to experience arthritis because they’re load bearing joints and if you’re carrying excess body weight (which of course is pretty much the norm in North America) the problem is made worse.
Maintaining a healthy body weight is likely the best piece of advice people can get for preventing the severity of arthritis in load-bearing joints likes knees, ankles, and even the hips.
But what about the rest of the body?
Osteoporosis affects many women, and osteoarthritis is common for them as well. When it comes to how to prevent this type of arthritis, the aforementioned advice is best – maintain a healthy body weight. The other most common type of arthritis for older men and women is rheumatoid arthritis. Not smoking goes a long way to reducing your risk of rheumatoid arthritis.
Next, we need to talk about injury prevention. Sports injuries that damage tendons or other structural components around joints can end up promoting arthritis. When it comes to how to prevent arthritis in knees, it’s especially helpful to do whatever is necessary to avoid tearing either the ACL (anterior cruciate) or MCL (medial collateral) ligaments of the knee. Not only will these types of injuries put you on the shelf for a better part of a year at least, but you’ll be much more likely to have arthritic knees when you’re older.
And yes, if you’re overweight and you try to be like Flo at an advanced age, you’re almost certainly going to tear one or both knee ligaments.
Other good tips are eating foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids (fish like salmon, trout, mackerel, and sardines) and exercising. And exercising not only to maintain a good weight, but also to build functional muscle so that you’re NOT prone to injuries that might promote arthritis as you get older.
Lastly, glucosamine sulfate and chondroitin sulfate are good natural supplement choices to help deal with arthritis if you are suffering from it. Arthritis in the fingers is very common for older folks, and when it comes to how to prevent arthritis if fingers these products are popular choices.
We’ve been relatively positive in promoting the prevention of arthritis so far here. However, there are going to be some people for whom the condition becomes advanced, despite their efforts to keep it at bay. In such instances they’ll be on their way to see their physician for a prescription, and often it’ll be for a product like Medrol or Celebrex, and either is an excellent choice for mediating arthritis pain and giving people some of their mobility back.
For a non-prescription option, Myoflex Pain Relief Cream (Trolamine Salicylate) can be purchased OTC (over-the-counter) without a prescription and it provides temporary relief of minor aches and pains with muscles and joints associated with arthritis, sprains and strains, and backache.
Flo Meiler’s personal best for pole vaulting is a world record for senior athletes – 6’ (1.8 meters) and accomplished at the USA Track and Field Championships a while back. Impressive for an 80-year old? You betcha, but while we’re on the topic of pole vaulting (and not how to prevent arthritis) we ought to pump the tires of Yelena Isinbayeva a little bit here.
She’s been the world record holder for women’s pole vault for nearly 10 years now, having vaulted herself up and over at bar 16.7’ feet (5.06m) in the air in August of 2009 in Zurich, Switzerland.