4 Ways to Help Prevent Arthritis in Your Feet
May is National Arthritis Awareness Month. At Goldsmith Podiatry we know that this disease can be devastating to your feet. Not only do you have 33 joints in each foot that are potential sites for arthritis, the stress on your foot and ankle joints is greater than other parts of your body because they carry the most weight.
There are some risk factors for arthritis that you have no control over. These would include things like genetics, your sex or ethnic background. But, while there is no sure way to guarantee you won’t get arthritis, there are some strategies you can adopt now that will help lower your risk.
Below are four steps you can take now to help protect the health of your joints.
1. Maintain a Healthy Weight—carrying excess pounds over a number of years can cause joints and cartilage to deteriorate faster. If you are overweight, talk to your doctor about a safe way to lose weight.
2. Keep Moving—it’s the old “use it or lose it” theory. Regular exercise that includes both weight bearing and aerobic activity as well as stretching will help joints maintain flexibility and a full range of motion.
3. Eat to Reduce Inflammation—if you have gout, a painful form of arthritis that often affects the joint at the base of the big toe, you’ll want to avoid foods that can trigger an attack. These include red meat, shellfish, organ meats, red wine, brandy, beer and rich sauces. Food choices can also affect your body’s inflammatory response—either positively or negatively. Fried and processed foods as well as though high in sugars can increase inflammation.
4. Seek Treatment Promptly--If you begin to experience stiffness or swelling in your any of your foot or ankle joints, limited range of motion or pain, contact our Upper West Side office for an appointment. Our podiatrists, Dr. Howard Goldsmith or Dr. Rosanna Troia will examine your feet and order any tests necessary to diagnose the source of your joint discomfort. A treatment plan can then be developed to suit your specific form of joint disease. Early detection and treatment for arthritis will result in the best outcomes.