May is National Arthritis Awareness Month, and with 33 joints in each of your feet, we at Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care think this is a good time to learn more about this condition, which can have a devastating effect on your podiatric health.
FACT: Almost 53 million adults and nearly 300,000 children have arthritis. It’s the number one cause of disability in the United States.
FACT: Arthritis is not actually one disease, but rather an umbrella term for over 100 different types of joint pain and diseases.
FACT: Common symptoms of arthritic conditions include joint pain and stiffness, swelling and decreased range of motion. Symptoms may vary in intensity and can get worse over time. In severe cases, arthritis can cause chronic pain and may impede your ability to walk, go up stairs and perform normal, daily activities.
FACT: Left untreated, arthritis can cause permanent joint damage. Some types of arthritis can even affect lungs, eyes, kidneys and skin, as well as joints. For this reason, it’s important that you make an appointment at our Edison, Monroe or Monmouth Junction office so that our podiatrists, Dr. Varun Gujral and Dr. Nrupa Shah can examine your feet and ankles, diagnose the source of joint discomfort and prescribe the correct treatment in the disease’s early stages.
FACT: The two most common forms of arthritis are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Osteoarthritis is the breakdown in cartilage that normally occurs in older people. Rheumatoid arthritis is a complex and chronic disease where the body erroneously attacks its own joints with inflammation. Rheumatoid arthritis can affect many other systems in your body and is quite serious.
FACT: There are many ways that arthritis in your feet can be treated and the symptoms decreased. These include:
- Maintaining an appropriate weight or losing weight if you are carrying excess pounds
- Exercising regularly
- Physical therapy to strengthen the muscles support foot joints
- Custom orthotic device for your shoes to help properly align your foot and relieve stress to affected joints
- Avoiding activities that aggravate your foot and ankle joints and balancing periods of being active with periods of rest
If you are experiencing any pain or stiffness in your foot joints or have additional questions about arthritis and your feet, contact us by calling: 732-662-3050.