Most people get alarmed by the term arthritis but it is merely joint inflammation and is a general term describing many possible conditions affecting your joints and surrounding tissue. The most common form and most well know would be osteoarthritis (OA) and it is known as a progressive degenerative type of arthritis far more sinister than a sprained ankle which could be called an arthritis but is relatively benign in comparison.
Nearly 10 percent of men and 30 percent of women age 60 and older will suffer from OA. While it becomes more common as you age it's not caused by 'wear and tear'; if anything, it might be caused by the absence of physical activity. Your body was designed to move and not sit for long periods.
Researchers believe that one factor that may be related to an increase in the prevalence of OA in our generation is our increased sedentary lifestyle leading to a reduction in muscle strength and joint stability.
While the cause of OA is multifactorial in origin the principal contributor is inflammation and an overactive immune response leading to tissue destruction.
So, what can you do to avoid OA?
Move more. Exercise that moves all joints through their normal range without overload is best.
Include omega-3 fats in your diet actually can stop the inflammation production pathway.
Diet can either prevent or trigger inflammation, so while adding some foods to your daily diet, you’ll want to remove others. Processed foods often contain soy, sugar, high fructose corn syrup and trans fats that trigger inflammation.
Not all inflamed or stiff joints are OA but all stiff joints or joints that don't move as they should will decay quicker. Chiropractors assess and maintain optimal joint motion. Ensuring optimal body balance and joint loading will give you the best chance to avoid joint wear and tear.
So, if you or someone you know is experiencing stiffness with or without pain in any part of the body for any length of time why not get a thorough Chiropractic examination to get to the underlying cause. Stiffness is the very subtle cue that is telling you something is not right and needs further investigation.