It's a Joint Effort
Published Tuesday, September 20, 2022
It’s a Joint Effort
By Lily Colquhoun, Prevention and Screening Clinical Services
We all move about in our own ways, but for some, how we move can be hindered by conditions such as arthritis.
Arthritis isn't a single disease, but rather a term that refers to joint pain or joint disease and includes tenderness and swelling of one or more joints. It is considered to be a chronic and incurable condition that tends to progress with age. Arthritis can involve any part of the body but most commonly occurs in weight-bearing joints such as your hips, knees, or spine. About one in five Canadians have arthritis, with women (one in four) having a greater likelihood than men (one in six). The effects of arthritis can vary from person to person, however, knowing your body and how to move through the discomfort can be more freeing than you think.
Although a common term, there are actually more than 100 different types of arthritis. The most common type of arthritis, osteoarthritis, often occurs as a result of regular wear and tear on the aging body. Arthritis can also be caused by injuries, obesity, autoimmune disorders, muscle weakness and family history. Some of the common symptoms of osteoarthritis include a clicking or popping noise with bending, joint instability, muscle weakness around a joint, a scraping feeling in the knees, and limited range of motion that may go away after a movement.
Arthritis generally cannot be prevented, but there are some simple steps that we can take to reduce the risk of developing it. Keep your body in tip-top shape for the long run by implementing these lifestyle choices:
- Use it or lose it. Regular exercise and stretching is a great way to prevent or manage arthritis. Physical activity can also strengthen your muscles to support healthy and strong joints.
- Stay at a healthy weight. Extra weight can put pressure on weight-bearing joints, causing unnecessary strain. Maintain a healthy weight through regular exercise and a healthy diet.
- Fish is phat. Eating foods that are high in omega-3 fatty acids such as salmon, trout, and mackerel can help reduce inflammation in the body.
- Be aware of your footwear. Our feet hold us up and help us move. Choose footwear that supports and cushions the feet and by doing so, it will do the same for your joints.
- It is great to hydrate. Cartilage in your joints is made primarily of water. Drinking water keeps cartilage lubricated, reduces the amount inflammation in your joints, and promotes cell regeneration.
For more information on how you can reduce the risk of arthritis, visit https://arthritis.ca/living-well.
Dr. Sheri Robertson (Chiropractor and Lead for the Spine Assessment Clinic) enjoys outdoor activities and tries to mix things up based on the season. Cycling is one of her favourite outdoor activities. She enjoys the peacefulness of the outdoors, the challenge of changing terrain/elevations and how cycling can be enjoyed as a group or solo activity. “It is always amazing to me just how far my legs can take me!”