Popping joints and cracking knuckles can be like nails on a chalkboard for some people, but for others, it’s a necessary force of habit that eases the daily pain of rheumatoid arthritis (RA). A painful condition that causes person’s immune system to attack the body’s tissues, rheumatoid arthritis typically affects the joints. When left untreated, the inflammation caused by rheumatoid arthritis can lead to damage in other parts of the body, as well. In short, it can be seriously debilitating.
Worse yet, the American College of Rheumatology explains the exact cause of RA is unknown. While there is no guaranteed way to prevent the disorder, there are some things you can do to lessen your chances of getting RA (Genetics play a large role in RA — yet another disease you can blame your parents for). In addition to keeping inflammation at bay and discussing treatment options with your doctor, take a look at these ways you can reduce your risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis.