What you can do to improve your bone health: by now you've read about the various treatments available for arthritis, osteoporosis and various joint problems. How about preventing the damage and pain in the first place?Here are some ways to get started.
* Work on those quads. A recent study found while stronger thighs won't prevent osteoarthritis osteoarthritis
or osteoarthrosis or degenerative joint disease
Most common joint disorder, afflicting over 80% of those who reach age 70. It does not involve excessive inflammation and may have no symptoms, especially at first. of the knees, it can reduce the amount of pain or stiffness with knee osteoarthritis. (34) Squats and lunges, as well as certain exercises with weights, can help strengthen quadriceps.
* Get your omega-3 fatty acids. Our diets today have gotten out of balance when it comes to omega-3 versus omega-6 fatty acids. The former are primarily found in fatty fish and some nuts and seeds, such as flaxseeds. The latter are found in many vegetables, such as corn and corn oil. While the anti-inflammatory benefits of omega-3 fatty acids (think fish oil supplements) is well known, less known is the fact that your intake of these fats can affect both bone formation and the rate at which bone is broken down. One study of 1,532 people between the ages of 45 and 90 found that the more omega-3 fatty acids they consumed and the fewer omega fatty-6 acids, the better their bone mineral density bone mineral density
See bone density.
bone mineral density A measurement of bone mass, expressed as the amount of mineral–in grams divided by the area scanned in cm2. See Bone densitometry. at the hip. (35) While eating a fatty fish like salmon twice a week is a good way to go, you can also swallow a couple of fish oil supplements every morning.
* Dig some D. Vitamin D vitamin D
Any of a group of fat-soluble alcohols important in calcium metabolism in animals to form strong bones and teeth and prevent rickets and osteoporosis. It is formed by ultraviolet radiation (sunlight) of sterols (see steroid) present in the skin. , the so-called "sunshine" vitamin, helps your body absorb calcium and maintain enough calcium and phosphate in your blood so it doesn't get pulled out of bone. It also enables bone growth and the breaking down and building up of bone. Low levels of vitamin D not only contribute to osteoporosis, but also a condition called osteomalacia osteomalacia /os·teo·ma·la·cia/ (os?te-o-mah-la´shah) inadequate or delayed mineralization of osteoid in mature cortical and spongy bone; it is the adult equivalent of rickets and accompanies that disorder in children. , in which you feel an aching pain in your bone even as the bone weakens. Low vitamin D also causes muscle weakness, which can lead to falls and fractures in older people. The best source of D is sunlight, but it's nearly impossible to get enough in the fail and winter or if you're using sunscreen sunscreen /sun·screen/ (-skren) a substance applied to the skin to protect it from the effects of the sun's rays.
n. . That's why supplements are your best bet. Most experts recommend supplementing with at least 1,000 IU of vitamin D a day.
Having said all that, you still need the calcium--1,200 mg a day is recommended for most women. Don't skip it even if you're already taking medication for osteoporosis. You still need both calcium and vitamin D supplements to get maximum results from the medicine. Take the calcium in divided doses of 500 or 600 mg a day.
* Quit smoking. Women who smoke tend to have lower bone density and higher risk of fractures than women who don't, possibly related to lower calcium absorption and production of estradiol.
* Hit the road. As with nearly any chronic disease, exercise reduces your risk of osteoporosis and arthritis. By strengthening muscle and aiding in weight loss, exercise can reduce the strain on joints. Weight-bearing exercise such as walking also helps maintain bone density--no matter what your age. Keep it low-key, however; the pounding of running and other high-intensity exercise can damage joints and ligaments, leading to inflammation, pain and, eventually, arthritis.
By Pamela Peeke, M D, MPH HealthyWomen Medical Advisor
Dr. Peeke is a Pew
Foundation Scholar in Nutrition and Metabolism, and Assistant Clinical Professor of Medicine at the University of Maryland University of Maryland can refer to: