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By Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care
May 21, 2018
Category: Bone health
Tags: Arthritis   Gout  

Did you know that arthritis is an umbrella term that includes more than 100 different types of joint diseases? It’s also the leading cause of disability in the United States. At Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care, we know how debilitating joint pain in your feet and ankles can be. In honor of Arthritis Awareness Month, we want to encourage our patients to take steps now to prevent arthritis. It’s never too early or too late to start!

Changing What You Can

There are definitely factors that increase your risk of developing arthritis that you have no control over, such as your sex, age, and family history. But there are plenty of lifestyle choices you can make that will significantly lower your chances of getting a joint disease, including:

  1. Playing it safe—many times the site of a knee, ankle or another joint injury later becomes a place in your body where arthritis sets in. You can reduce your risk of arthritis by taking proper safety precautions when driving and playing sports. Avoiding an injury now can help prevent arthritis down the road.
  2. Quit smoking—this has been tied to an increased risk of Rheumatoid Arthritis.
  3. Watch your weight—osteoarthritis—the “wear and tear” kind where cartilage and joint tissue breaks down with age, is the most common form of arthritis. Maintaining a healthy weight means less pressure over time on the joints of your lower extremities.
  4. Exercise regularly—weight-bearing exercise helps strengthen bones and joints. Exercise also helps keep joints flexible and increases the range of motion—it’s the old “use it or lose it” strategy and it definitely applies to keeping joints healthy and being able to stay active.
  5. Choose foods carefully—in the case of gout (a form of arthritis that often affects your big toe), certain foods that are high in purines can be directly linked to attacks. Patients who suffer from this form of arthritis can lower the chances of an attack by not eating shellfish, red meat, red wine, rich sauces, beer and other alcoholic beverages.

If you notice the joints in your feet or ankles beginning to get stiff, painful or sore, contact our Edison, Monroe or Monmouth Junction, New Jersey offices for an appointment by calling: 732-662-3050. There are other causes of joint discomfort besides arthritis and our podiatrists, Dr. Varun (Ben) Gujral and Dr. Nrupa Shah will examine your feet, take your medical history, and help track down the cause of joint pain while it is in its earliest and most treatable stages.

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