AABP Integrative Pain Care

Can You Prevent Arthritis?

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Without proper, proactive management, arthritis can lead to a future of stiff, swollen, and painful joints. Learn what you can do now to protect your long-term joint health from arthritis complications.

Arthritis is a chronic condition that affects about 58.5 million Americans. If your parents or other loved ones have arthritis, you may hope you can avoid it yourself. The reality is – there’s no way to prevent arthritis but there are steps you can take to delay it and avoid the complications the disease can cause.

At AABP Integrative Pain Care, our board-certified pain management specialists offer comprehensive, compassionate arthritis care. We provide a range of treatments and resources that lower your risk for ongoing joint pain and dysfunction.

Why people get arthritis

Arthritis is a chronic disease that causes persistent joint inflammation. Inflammation makes your joints stiff and painful. Without proper management, arthritis can lead to joint deformities and the need for surgery.

There are over 100 types of arthritis that affect the knees, ankles, fingers, and other joints. The most common types develop in the joints you use most, often due to injury or overuse.

Our providers can treat many types of arthritis but specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of:


Osteoarthritis is a degenerative disease that develops when the protective cartilage around your joints breaks down and wears away. The lack of protection allows bones to wear away, triggering persistent swelling and pain.

Rheumatoid arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease that develops when your immune system attacks otherwise healthy joint structures.

Ankylosing spondylitis

Ankylosing spondylitis affects the joints of your spine, causing inflammation, pain, and mobility issues.

Post-traumatic arthritis

Post-traumatic arthritis describes joint inflammation and pain that develops after a joint injury.

Effective ways to prevent arthritis complications

There are certain arthritis risk factors that you can’t change, including your genetic history. However, there are several changes you can make to protect your joint health and function starting today, including:

Maintain a healthy weight

Being overweight or obese puts unnecessary pressure on your joints which can lead to the premature breakdown of your cartilage and bones common in osteoarthritis.

To lower your risk for osteoarthritis, stay physically active and follow a healthy diet. Losing even a small percentage of excessive weight can lessen existing arthritis pain and prevent more serious joint damage.

Quitting smoking

Smoking is a known risk factor for rheumatoid arthritis due to its influence on inflammation in the body.

If you find it difficult to quit smoking on your own, our providers can recommend smoking cessation strategies you can use to stop smoking for good.

Stay on top of your blood sugar levels

If you eat a lot of sugar or have uncontrolled diabetes, your blood sugar levels can increase your risk for arthritis. High blood sugar levels can cause stiffness in the joint tissues, which increases their sensitivity to stress and damage.

Your diet should include more fresh fruits and vegetables, lean meats, and fish and less processed, sugary foods. If you have diabetes, work with your family physician to ensure your blood sugar levels are always well-controlled.

Take precautions when playing sports

You can avoid arthritis complications later by taking better care of your joints now, especially when you’re physically active.

Always wear the correct protective gear to avoid fractures, anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tears, and other sports injuries that play a role in arthritis.

If you need help managing existing arthritis pain, call the AABP Integrative Pain Care office near you to schedule a diagnostic evaluation, or book an appointment online today.