Conversation going on 411,674 times per day in households all over America:
“Grandpa, you’re limping”
“It’s this arthritis, it’s killing me.”
Okay, we don’t have any idea how many times a day this conversation is happening, but it must be happening a lot. And although arthritis can strike people of all ages, this kind of exchange usually occurs with an older person. That’s because Grandpa is most likely complaining about his osteoarthritis - the most common type there is. Doctors sometimes refer to osteoarthritis as “wear and tear” arthritis. Over the years, the protective cartilage in your joints gets worn down. Eventually, it can disappear entirely, leaving bones without protective cushioning. Bones rub against other bones - and it hurts to move.
Getting arthritis is common, but not inevitable. For National Arthritis Month, the board-certified podiatrists at Affiliated Foot & Ankle Center in Howell, NJ want you to know about these five ways to help prevent getting arthritis in your feet:
- Manage your weight - When you call upon your feet to support extra pounds, the protective cartilage in your foot’s 30+ joints can respond by wearing down faster than it normally would.
- Exercise - Make it a practice to continually stretch and strengthen your body through swimming, walking, yoga, Pilates, and other low-impact, joint-friendly exercises.
- Get your gait analyzed - Our podiatrists, Dr. Samantha Boyd, Dr. Hal Ornstein, Dr. Joseph Saka, and Dr. Katy Statler, can examine your foot for biomechanical issues like fallen or abnormally high arches, or ankles that fall inward. These kinds of problems can put unnecessary strain on your joints and can be corrected through a change in footwear or custom orthotics.
- Avoid foods high in purines - Foods like red meat, shellfish, and organ meats contain purines that raise the level of uric acid in your blood and cause gout, a type of arthritis in your big toe.
- Seek prompt professional care for injuries - Make an appointment with us if you injure your foot or ankle. If not treated properly, an injured joint is more susceptible to repeated injury and arthritis, even years after the initial injury.
If you suspect that you have arthritis, get it professionally checked out by the foot and ankle experts of Monmouth County. We can recommend many ways to ease the arthritis pain in your feet or ankles and to prevent it from getting worse. Call us at (732) 905-1110 or make an appointment online.