Preventing osteoarthritis

Dr Mark Porter / 03 January 2017

Dr Porter advises a reader who wants to know how to prevent osteoarthritis.

Q: Is there anything I can do to prevent the onset of osteoarthritis? Both my mother and aunt had hip replacements in their fifties and it was recommended that I take a glucosamine and chondroitin supplement as a preventative measure. But does this actually help?

A: Osteoarthritis often runs in families through an inherited problem with the cartilage lining the joint. But that doesn’t mean you are definitely going to follow your mother and aunt – just that you are more likely to.

The best way to preserve your joints is to keep to a healthy weight so as not to overload them; to keep active so that the muscles around the joints (particularly the knee) remain strong and supportive, and to avoid injury (which accelerates the onset of arthritis).

As for supplements, I am afraid that if any do slow the onset of significant problems then the effect is marginal. 

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