October 12, 2016 is World Arthritis Day, a part of Bone and Joint Action Week which is meant to raise awareness of musculoskeletal disorders. At Edmond Norman Foot & Ankle we recognize how debilitating arthritis in the feet and ankles can be. In fact, bone and joint conditions are the number one cause of severe long-term pain and physical disability. You can take action now to help decrease your risk of arthritis or reduce the severity of the symptoms:
- First, schedule an appointment with the podiatrist. Our board certified foot and ankle surgeon, Dr. A. Bil Buksh, can help assess your risk for arthritis and other musculoskeletal disorders. He will need to examine your toes, feet and ankles if you are already experiencing joint pain. Imaging studies such as digital x-rays (which can be done right in our Edmond or Norman office) and other tests may be performed to determine the type and extent of your arthritis.
- Watch what you eat. An overall healthy diet is an essential step in maintaining a proper weight. Being overweight puts added stress on the joints and bones of the feet. Increase your intake of calcium rich foods such as dairy products, leafy green vegetables, almonds and sardines to strengthen bones and joints. Decrease the amount of foods you eat that are known to cause inflammation, including: sugar, salt, corn oil (and other oils high in omega-6 fatty acids).
- Increase your exercise. Regular exercise can help keep joints flexible, improve range of motion and be part of a weight loss or maintenance plan. Find creative ways to increase your activity level: get off the bus one stop early and walk the rest of the way, offer to walk a friend’s dog a few times a week. If you have arthritis, consult your foot doctor for exercise suggestions.
- Invest in your shoes. Properly fitting shoes that are well made and supportive yet accommodating can protect feet and reduce pain from arthritic joints.