According to a study published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, there are twice as many cases of arthritis in the knee today as there were before the 1950s. The study does not specify the reason for the increasing prevalence of the condition, but there are a number of lifestyle factors that may be contributing to it.
Physical Activity and Exercise
The amount of physical activity the average person performs each day has decreased considerably over the centuries. Hunter-gatherers consistently moved in physically demanding ways which are thought to help the knees stay healthy, despite the increased wear and tear. Today, however, many professions require people to sit inactive for long periods of time.
All that sitting means less physical activity and exercise, which can keep nutrients from being diffused to joints and cause muscles to lose strength. Over time, this may contribute to the development of arthritis.
Diet and Inflammation
Many of the symptoms associated with arthritis are the result of joint inflammation. Certain foods are known to contribute to higher levels of inflammation, including fried foods, red meat, refined carbohydrates, and highly sweetened beverages, such as soda. These foods have become a regular part of more and more people’s diets in the last few decades, which may be increasing the risk of arthritis.
Athletic injuries may also be contributing to more and more cases of arthritis. Athletes today are bigger and stronger than ever, but the injuries they endure can have a serious impact on their long-term health. This can lead to post-traumatic arthritis and painful fluid accumulation in the joints.
Managing the Symptoms of Arthritis
If you are living with arthritis, there are a number of things you can do to relieve your pain and stiffness, including changes to your diet and getting some gentle exercise. Many patients have also experienced long-term relief with alternative medicine.
Treatments like medical acupuncture can be highly effective for treating the symptoms of arthritis. These therapies encourage the body to heal naturally, through safe, non-surgical procedures. Some patients experience noticeable results after a single session.
Spine & Joint Center specializes in minimally-invasive treatments for back and joint pain, including arthritis pain. To learn more about our therapies, get in touch today.