Challenge Arthritis: 6 Ways to Fight Back
Today, nearly 53 million adults and 300,000 children have been diagnosed with arthritis. May is National Arthritis Awareness Month and here at Paul S. DeMarco, DPM we want to share some ways that you can prevent or lessen the pain and disability of this disease. With 33 joints in each of your feet, it’s clear that arthritis can have a big impact on the health of your feet. Simple changes can make a big difference.
Below are some to try:
- Switch it up—staying in one position for long periods of time is not good for your joints. If you have a desk job take regular breaks to get up, walk or stretch. Consider trying a standing desk. If you’re on your feet for hours at a time, find opportunities to sit.
- Kick the high heel habit—these styles put stress on your feet and knees and significantly increase the risk of developing osteoarthritis in the lower extremities.
- See green—eat more salad. Greens used in salads—spinach, Bibb and romaine lettuces, kale, broccoli and parsley—are high in calcium and can help maintain bone strength. In addition, salad can help you feel fuller and consume few calories overall.
- Be careful—an injured knee, ankle or foot has an increased risk for becoming a site where arthritis will develop down the road. Wear appropriate shoes, pay attention to changing surfaces and pavement levels and take proper precautions when playing sports to prevent injuries.
- Downsize—being overweight puts significant stress on lower extremity joints—each pound you gain puts 4 pounds of stress on your knees. Losing as little as 11 pounds can reduce your risk of developing osteoarthritis by 50% in your knees and significantly improve the health of your joints.
- Feel something—say something—if you have symptoms of joint disease: stiffness, decreased range of motion, joint pain or swelling, make an appointment at our Somers Point office right away by calling: (609) 927-4894. Our podiatrist, Dr. Paul S. DeMarco, will examine your feet and ankles and order the necessary tests to determine if you have arthritis. Detecting and treating joint disease in its earliest stages is one of the best ways to lessen pain and disability.