Celebrate World Arthritis Day
World Arthritis Day occurs each October, and we at Pasco-Hernando Foot & Ankle want our patients to have a better understanding of these diseases and what can be done about them. Too many patients think that arthritis is just a “normal” part of aging and don’t believe there is any real way to prevent or treat it.
What is Arthritis?
The first fallacy to get past is that “arthritis” is one disease. It is actually a term used to cover over 100 conditions that can negatively impact the health of your joints. Osteoarthritis, by far the most common type, is the “wear and tear” kind of arthritis. It most often strikes older adults and is the result of the wearing down of the cartilage between the joints and deterioration of the joints themselves. Rheumatoid arthritis is another type of joint disease. Joint inflammation and pain are a part of a serious autoimmune disease that can affect many other parts of your body as well. There are also types of arthritis that are associated with viruses, infections and chemical imbalances in your body. For this reason, it’s important that you make an appointment at our Spring Hill (352 683-5799) or Hudson (727-868-2128) office if you are experiencing any joint pain in your feet or ankles or stiffness, redness, swelling or decreased range of motion. Our podiatrist, Dr. Lawrence J. Kales, will conduct a thorough physical examination as well as get your complete medical history and order any necessary tests to determine the specific cause of your joint discomfort. Once a diagnosis is confirmed the proper treatment can be prescribed.
Taking Care of Your Joints
You can decrease your chances of developing osteoarthritis in a few different ways:
Diet—eating a well-balanced and nutritious diet that is low in fats, sugars and carbohydrates will help you attain and/or maintain an appropriate weight. Carrying excess pounds means faster deterioration of the joints in your lower extremities. You can also increase bone strength and decrease inflammation by your food choices.
Exercise—regular activity that includes both strengthening and weight-bearing exercise will go a long way toward protecting joint health and maintaining flexibility and range of motion. Simply increasing the amount of walking you do daily will significantly reduce your risk.
If you have questions about joint health and your feet, contact us today.