Be aware of the risk factors - these are physical and lifestyle attributes that can make you more likely to develop arthritis. Awareness of these risks can help you see positive changes that you can make.
Risk Factors You Can Control
Overweight & Obesity
Extra weight adds stress to joints, particularly weight-bearing joints like the hips and knees.
Now what do I do? Maintain a healthy weight and eating healthy can help you lose weight. Learn how you can eat healthy and exercise safely with arthritis.
Cigarette smoking increases your risk of developing arthritis and can make it worse.
Now what do I do? Stop smoking. Do not delay, get help today from the Kansas Tobacco Quitline.
Jobs that require frequent bending of the joints can lead to some types of arthritis.
Now what do I do? Understand your physical limitations. Clear your worksite from debris and other hazards. Practice safe lifting and when available use tools and equipment to help.
It is always possible for bacteria and viruses to infect joints and may cause some types of arthritis.
Now what do I do? Go to the doctor if your joints are ever red, swollen or warm.
Joint overuse or injury from repeated motion such as bending or repeated stress can damage the joint and may lead to arthritis.
Now what do I do? Try exercises designed to strengthen and protect your joints.
Risk Factors You Cannot Control
Being aware of those things you cannot control still will help you make positive changes.
It is natural, your risk simply goes up as you get older.
It is unknown why, but most types of arthritis are more common in women.
Genetics or Inherited Traits
It is unclear why, but some people are born with specific genes that result in some forms of arthritis. Others have genes that can make their arthritis worse.