Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common form of arthritis, affecting over 32.5 million Americans. Research shows that injury prevention and weight management are the best ways to prevent OA from occurring.
If you already have osteoarthritis (OA), taking steps to prevent new damage can help you on the path to less joint pain. Make sure the young people in your life know how they can help prevent OA.
Managing your weight with a healthy diet and physical activity can help you prevent and reduce joint pain. For every 1 pound of weight loss, there is 4 pounds of relief on your knees. Losing 15 pounds can cut knee pain in half.
People who maintain a healthy weight are less likely to develop knee OA and therefore less likely to need major surgical procedures to treat OA symptoms. Higher body mass index (BMI) isn’t just a major risk factor for diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer, and premature death; it’s also implicated as a cause of OA.
Get more information to help manage a healthy weight:
Sports Injury Prevention
Joint injury is common in the general population, but it occurs at a higher rate in athletes. Neuromuscular training exercises can reduce the risk of traumatic knee injury by up to 80%. These exercises also improve strength, balance, and measures of athletic performance.
Injury to the knee joint, such as an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) rupture, whether treated surgically or non-operatively, can lead to OA of the knee later in life (referred to as post-traumatic osteoarthritis or PTOA). Individuals with a history of knee injury are 3-6 times more likely to develop knee OA. Down the line, almost half of individuals with an ACL injury will develop knee OA within 10 years.
It’s time to translate the evidence of injury prevention into practice. Sports injuries, like ACL injuries, can sideline a young athlete for months or even end a career. While creaky joints are not on your young players’ minds, sports injuries can increase the risk for osteoarthritis later in life. ACL injuries can lead to osteoarthritis earlier than you think!
Learn more about Remain in the Game: A Joint Effort, a program with materials for coaches and step-by-step videos tailored to keep players healthy by avoiding sports injury
A consistent training program like Remain in the Game can reduce the chance of knee injuries by up to 50% and may help prevent osteoarthritis. It just takes 10 minutes, 2 to 3 times each week, of these simple exercises to protect your players’ joints and improve performance.
Learn more:Remain in the Game
Falls Injury Prevention
According to the CDC, falls are the leading cause of injury among seniors. Arthritis often leads to a weakening of the muscles that help with balance and stability and causes join pain that can affect an individual’s gait. As a result, those with arthritis are at a much great risk of falling. The CDC found that those with arthritis are 2.5 times more likely to report two or more falls and suffer a fall-related injury as those without arthritis.
Research has shown that increasing your physical activity can help decrease the risk of falls. These activities could include walking, Tai Chi, aquatic exercises, balance exercises, strength training, yoga, and stretching.
Learn more:Walk with Arthritis