Common arthritis risk factors and how to avoid them

Arthritis is one of the biggest impediments to healthy aging and affects millions of older adults. Though there are several treatment methods available to reduce the pain associated with the condition, one of the best ways is to reduce the chances of developing it in the first place, and according to HealthCentral.com, there are a number of risk factors some seniors may not even be aware of.

While a person's weight is often associated with health issues including diabetes and heart disease, it could also have a significant impact on whether they develop arthritis. Specifically, just one extra pound of weight adds between four and eight pounds of pressure on the knees, so following the tenets of a healthy lifestyle for seniors is even more crucial.

In a similar vein, being sedentary can raise a person's risk of developing arthritis even if he or she is at a healthy weight. According to the website, not only can inactivity lead to muscle atrophy but it can also decrease the body's ability to form new, healthy cartilage.

While age might seem like a significant risk factor as well, it doesn't always have to be. Though arthritis is certainly more common in seniors, there are some steps older adults can take to keep their bones and joints healthy.

In addition to staying active, older adults can change their diets to help maintain their bone and joint health. Vitamin D may be among the most beneficial nutrients associated with arthritis prevention because it aids in calcium absorption. The best source of vitamin D is fortified foods such as cereal, milk and eggs.

Along with vitamin D, seniors should get plenty of vitamin C to help stave off osteoarthritis. The nutrient, found in many fruits such as strawberries, oranges and tomatoes, can counter the negative effects of free radicals.