Updated 25 November 2016

Preventing osteoarthritis

Is it possible to prevent yourself from getting osteoarthritis?


No, by the time we retire, at least 50% of us will show evidence of osteoarthritis. It is however not an unavoidable part of getting older and there are things we can do to help prevent the disease or its progression like early identification of risk factors, such as hypermobility.

Other steps you can start taking right now are:

  • Maintaining your optimal weight may be the best way to prevent osteoarthritis. If you are on the heavy side, losing weight may be the best way to keep osteoarthritis at bay.
  • Increasing the strength of your muscles can reduce the risk of osteoarthritis.
  • Suffering a joint injury increases your chances of developing osteoarthritis in that joint when you get older. 
  • It has not been proven that diet can prevent osteoarthritis, but there are some nutrients that may help prevent the disease or reduce symptoms:

– Omega-3 fatty acids reduces joint

– Vitamin C may reduce the risk of osteoarthritis progression. 

– Vitamin D may also slows the progression of the disease

Read more:

Causes of osteoarthritis?

Symptoms of osteoarthritis

Reviewed by Dr Ingrid Louw, MBChB, MMed (Int), rheumatologist/physician, (private practice), June 2011


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Professor Asgar Ali Kalla completed his MBChB (Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery) degree in 1975 at the University of Cape Town and his FRCP in 2003 in London. Professor Ali Kalla is the Isaac Albow Chair of Rheumatology at the University of Cape Town and also the Head of Division of Rheumatology at Groote Schuur Hospital. He has participated in a number of clinical trials for rheumatology and is active in community outreach. Prof Ali Kalla is an expert in Arthritis for Health24.

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