In October, we celebrate World Arthritis Day. At Texas Foot Specialists, we know that joint health is critical, especially as we age, to living a full and active life. Many of the actions you can take to improve and protect the functioning of your joints are also good for your overall health. It’s never too early or too late to start! Below are some do’s and don’ts to encourage you to be proactive in taking care of your foot and ankle joints:
Do: maintain a healthy weight. Did you know that losing one pound takes 4 pounds of pressure off your knee joints? Studies estimate that 68% of Americans are overweight or obese. Losing even a small amount of weight has been shown to lessen joint pain, improve function and decrease levels of inflammation in the body. In addition, if you weigh less you’re likely to be more active which helps both weight and joints.
Don’t: cheap out on your footwear. Shoes that are poorly-made, too tight or that lack adequate support can alter the proper position of your foot and place undue stress on your foot and ankle joints. Get rid of shoes when they are worn out and also get your foot professionally measured to ensure a proper fit. Shoe size can change over time.
Do: eat a rainbow of produce. Many fruits and vegetables have anti-inflammatory properties and contain anti-oxidants that can help reduce or inhibit inflammation in the body. By eating a wide variety of types and colors of produce, you’ll go a long way towards getting all the different nutrients your body needs to maintain good joint (and overall) health.
Do: stay active. Weight-bearing, strengthening and cardio exercise are all beneficial in building up stronger bones, joints and the muscles that support them. In addition to formal exercise, add more activity to your day. Take regular breaks to get up and walk around if you are in a desk job. Park further away from stores and offices. Walk while you talk on the phone.
Don’t: ignore joint pain or stiffness. Arthritis is a term that covers nearly 100 different joint disorders. Most can be managed, cured or their progression greatly slowed if they are diagnosed and treated promptly. If you are experiencing any joint discomfort, make an appointment at our Pasadena (281) 991-0600, Sugar Land (281) 242-4448 or Houston (713) 664-6677 office. Let our podiatrists, Dr. Gregory Mangum or Dr. Bruce Miller, evaluate your condition and prescribe the correct treatment.