Questions About Healthy Aging: Osteoarthritis

By: Porter Regional Hospital Last Updated: March 16, 2010

From the March 2010 Senior Circle publicationsenior-circle

Q: Is osteoarthritis a part of aging, and is there a way to reduce risks, even after age 50?

A: Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common form of arthritis, affecting some 21 million Americans. “If we live long enough most of us will develop osteoarthritis to some degree,” said Maureen Hughes, Director of Porter’s Joint Camp.

“Those at the highest risk for osteoarthritis are people who have participated in high-impact sports and those who are overweight,” said Hughes. “For every pound you gain, you add three pounds of pressure to your knees and increase pressure on your hips six fold,” said Hughes.

To reduce your risk of OA and preserve your joints, Hughes recommends maintaining a healthy weight, taking in adequate calcium, and keeping up with low-impact exercise such as walking, cycling, water aerobics, and yoga. You may also want to discuss supplements with your doctor.