You can take steps to help prevent
osteoarthritis. If you already have arthritis, these
same steps may keep it from getting worse.
Stay at a healthy weight or lose weight if you need to. Extra weight puts a
lot of stress on the large, weight-bearing joints such as the knees,
the hips, and the balls of the feet. Experts estimate that every
1 lb (0.5 kg) of body weight
4 lb (1.8 kg) of stress
to the knee.1 This
means that if you lost just
5 lb (2.3 kg), you
20 lb (9.1 kg) of stress off
Be activeBe active. A lack of exercise can cause your muscles and joints to
become weak. But light to moderate exercise can help keep
your muscles strong and reduce joint pain and stiffness. For example, if your quadriceps (the muscles
in the front of your thigh) are weak, you may be more likely to get arthritis
of the knee.
Protect your joints. Try not to do tasks that cause pain or swelling in joints. And try to use the largest joints or
strongest muscles to do things. A single major injury to a joint or several
minor injuries can damage cartilage over time.