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Rheumatoid Arthritis: Protecting Your Joints from Damage

Protect Joints: Practice Good Posture

Proper posture protects the joints of your shoulders, hips, and knees. To practice good posture when lifting, keep your back straight, separate your feet to widen your base, and bend at the knees and hips, not the waist.

When sitting, rest your feet flat on the floor and keep your knees and hips bent at a 90-degree angle. Sit upright and lift your chest, imagining a string tied to the second button of your blouse going straight up toward the ceiling.

Eat for Joint Health

Although there is no specific diet to ease rheumatoid arthritis or keep joints strong, some nutrients may have positive, protective effects:

  • Omega-3 fatty acids. Studies have shown that omega-3 fatty acids -- DHA and EPA -- from fish oil supplements can reduce inflammation associated with RA. Good sources are fatty fish such as salmon, herring, tuna, and sardines.
  • Calcium and vitamin D. Many people with RA don't get enough calcium and vitamin D. Both are essential for strong bones -- which you need for healthy joints -- and can help lower risk of osteoporosis, which can be increased when you have RA. Most adults need 1,000 - 1,200 mgs of calcium a day and 600 - 800 IUs of Vitamin D daily.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by David Zelman, MD on May 26, 2014

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