Arthritis is a chronic condition in which there is inflammation in one or more of your joints. There are many types of arthritis and causes for arthritis, including genetics, injury, or other associated disease. The pain and inflammation that it causes can range from mild to severe and can be felt across the board.
Those diagnosed with arthritis have to make some changes in order to prevent and learn to deal with the symptoms associated with arthritis, such as pain, stiffness, heat, swelling, and clicking or popping noises. It can even prevent you from doing activities that you love. However, instead of letting it get you down, try some of the following lifestyle changes to keep you healthy and happy:
- Minimize activities that are high-impact on your joints. Instead of thinking about the sports you can no longer participate in, find alternative exercises that will keep you active.
- Include time to rest and exercise. Exercising can actually help you with your joint pain. Strengthening muscles and bones can help protect your joints and maintain flexibility. You may perform physical therapy exercises, or low-impact exercises, such as walking, swimming, cycling, or yoga. Remember that pain at the joint indicates that you need to rest the joint. This could mean a few hours to a few days, so try to be flexible. However, if the pain lasts even after a few days of rest, come see our podiatrist.
- Get the right shoes for your pain issues. If your arthritis affects your feet and toes, having tight shoes will only aggravate the problem. Get shoes with a roomy toebox and good cushioning to absorb impact. You may need custom orthotic shoes or inserts.
- Make some changes at home. If possible, buy some foam mats for when you stand at the kitchen or bathroom, to relieve pressure on your feet, ankles, knees and hips. If you haven’t before, you may find relief in wearing comfortable indoor shoes or installing carpet.
- If you are overweight or obese, it may be beneficial to your arthritic feet if you lose weight. The extra weight can make the pain worse, especially during weight bearing activities or movements. Losing weight can take stress of the joints and prevent future damage to the joints.
- Eat healthy. Foods with omega-3 fatty acids (e.g. salmon, walnuts) can help reduce joint stiffness and pain. Eating a balanced and nutritional diet can help you gain the essential nutrients you need to protect your joints. Fruits and vegetables can release anti-inflammatory properties to keep that inflammation at bay.
- Try to reduce stress. Stress can aggravate the inflammatory response of your body. Take time to relax and decompress, avoiding stressful situations to prevent arthritic pain attacks. Get a foot massage to increase circulation and soothe aches and pains.
Remember, treating arthritis early can help to slow down the progress of the disease and even help to prevent future wear and tear. Make an appointment with us at The Podiatry Group. Our podiatrists, Dr. Mark E. Reiner, Dr. Michael A. Haughey, Dr. William G. Coates, and Dr. Erik D. Rosenlof can assess your feet and find the right treatment for your arthritic pain.