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Osteoarthritis is a degenerative condition that can affect anyone.

Whilst there is no definitive root cause as to why some people get OA and some don’t, there are a number of contributing factors, which when combined can increase the likelihood of you experiencing the condition at some stage in your life.

A number of items identified as preventative measures are also considered treatment options in order to slow down the degradation of the knee joint and ultimately delay the need for surgery in the long term and these are:

  • Watching your weight
  • Eating the right foods
  • Keeping active
  • Wearing the right shoes

Watching your weight

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is important full stop.

When considering the knee joint, the heavier you are the greater the stress imposed on the joint, which in time can have a negative effect. If you like running then these stresses are amplified. If you lose a few pounds then that is a few less pounds of stress on the knee joints.

Watching your weight can not only help your knee joints but your overall wellbeing, giving you more energy and helping you to feel fitter, healthier and ready for action.

To find out if you’re a healthy weight check out the NHS BMI Healthy Weight Calculator.

Prevention - Preventing Osteoarthritis - OA Knee Pain Exercise will help you stay fit, healthy and also lose weight

Eating the right foods

This goes hand in hand with maintaining a healthy weight.

If you have a poor diet then it’s harder to maintain your weight, regardless of exercise, not to mention the impact on your body from eating things which don’t carry the necessary nutrients and vitamins.

Long term there is also a risk of experiencing diabetes, with the latest research suggesting it is a contributing factor of osteoarthritis.

When looking at the right foods you should focus on vitamin C and D, which are known to improve cartilage development, along with omega-3 and spices which can work to decrease inflammation.

For more information on selecting the right foods visit our nutrition page.

Prevention - Preventing Osteoarthritis - OA Knee Pain Eating the right food is important

Keeping active

It may sound counterintuitive when suffering from knee pain to be told to exercise but this releases endorphins into the body which act as natural painkillers.

When considering exercise as a preventative measure you can consider low impact sports whilst also working on strengthening exercises.

Running is a high impact activity, whereas swimming or cycling can still offer a great workout without putting as much strain on the knee joints.

The knee joint is extremely important but by strengthening the leg muscles you can reduce the strain on the joint itself. Working on your hamstrings and quads mean that these muscles will take some of the strain when you’re active to help reduce the stress on the knee. Yoga is also a great way of improving your flexibility.

There are a variety of exercises available from flexibility and stretching to aerobic to muscle strengthening available on our knee exercises page.

Prevention - Preventing Osteoarthritis - OA Knee Pain Staying active will keep you healthy

Wearing the right shoes

Shoes can be a modifying factor when it comes to minimising pain and maximising your ability to get out and about and do things.

Wearing the wrong shoes can exacerbate problems that already exist and can cause complications and long term damage to a variety of joints, muscles, tendons and ligaments beyond the feet. Wearing the right shoes can eliminate or reduce foot pain, which also affects the body’s mobility and function.

For more information visit our footwear page.

The things mentioned above are not just things to consider to potentially avoid (or delay the onset of) osteoarthritis but things we should be doing anyway in order to look after our bodies.

For more information on getting started with a healthy lifestyle visit the NHS get fit for free pages.

Prevention - Preventing Osteoarthritis - OA Knee Pain Selecting the right footwear is important
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Can Certain Diets Make OA Knee Pain Worse?


Diet is an important part of managing both your overall health and also reducing the risk of further exacerbating any existing pain. You have probably already been given advice regarding the particular foods that you should be incorporating into your diet to alleviate pain, but did you know that there are certain foods that could be making your knee condition worse?

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AXA PPP in partnership with Össur, creator of the Unloader One


This year AXA PPP has announced that it will now be funding conservative treatment for unicompartmental osteoarthritis under its private healthcare cover in the form of offloading knee brace, the Unloader One. The Unloader One knee brace is the only knee brace funded by AXA PPP for the treatment of osteoarthritis as an alternative to surgical intervention, where appropriate. This means that the knee brace, which usually costs £599 out of pocket for a patient looking to pursue alternative, non invasive treatment, is now available for free under the healthcare cover provided by AXA PPP.

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​5 Things to ask your employer to improve your workplace


A healthy workplace environment is not just a right, but also a need. We spend a significant portion of our lives in offices, factories, service stations and more and when employers fail to deliver a healthy environment, employees and ex-employees can pay with their health for years to come.

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​Don't suffer in silence – Encouraging people to seek help


Osteoarthritis (OA) of the knee is a very common long-term condition. Data collected in the UK and in the USA indicate that at least one-in-five people over the age of 45 have the condition to some degree. And, as you get older, the likelihood of the condition developing increases.

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​Joint pain – do’s & don’ts


Many people experience joint pain at some time during their life. There are various possible causes of pain in the joints, but most frequently it occurs as the result of an injury or arthritis.

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​3 steps to explaining your OA to your family


A diagnosis of osteoarthritis (OA) will likely have an impact on your daily life. However, it will also impact those around you. You may have mobility issues or require additional support in certain areas. In order for those around you to provide the support you need and to put their minds at rest about your diagnosis, it is important that they fully understand the condition. If you have recently been diagnosed with OA, but have yet to discuss it with those closest to you, here are three steps to explaining the disease to your family.

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Five Lifestyle & Nutrition Tips for Healthy Bones


Written for OA Knee Pain by Registered Dietician Nichola Ludlam-Raine. Nichola works as an NHS, freelance and private dietician and has appeared on BBC breakfast a number of times to provide her expert opinion. Here she tells us about the top 10 lifestyle and healthy eating tips for before and after surgery.

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​How a knee injury can increase your risk of Osteoarthritis


According to the NHS, osteoarthritis affects about 8 million people in the UK. While in many cases, the condition develops as a result of the slow degeneration of joints brought on by ageing, your susceptibility for developing osteoarthritis in the knee may increase if you have previously suffered an injury to the joint.

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Knee OA: Linking activity and pain (KOALAP)


The link between physical activity and knee pain is something that we are all aware of and make assumptions about but there hasn’t been any concrete research, until now. The same group of researchers from the University of Manchester responsible for the Cloudy with a chance of Pain study have created the Koalap.

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​Occupational risk OA


There is a strong link between our work and our health. We all spend a lot of time in our jobs and so it is important to analyse the risks involved and understand how our job can affect our health. With osteoarthritis, there can be many risk factors to consider at work. It is vital to assess what factors increase the risk of developing OA and how OA can be managed at work.