Arthritis can impact your joints, tendons, and body as you get older. Your joints and tendons feel the wear and tear of everyday life. When you have arthritis, you are susceptible to more pain and adjusting to your new arthritic joints.
At Manhattan Podiatry Associates, PC, we understand arthritis can drastically change your lifestyle. Our specialists are experienced in arthritis, foot, and ankle rehabilitation, and can diagnose and treat various forms of arthritis. New York City patients can visit either of our two convenient locations in Midtown Manhattan and Downtown Manhattan.
What is arthritis?
Arthritis refers to joint inflammation. A joint is an area in your body where two or more bones make contact and move against one another. When bones and joints rub together or become inflamed, arthritis forms. The specific cause of the joint pain depends on the type of arthritis. There are many forms of arthritis (100 to be exact).
There are two main types of arthritis. Osteoarthritis (OA, also referred to as degenerative joint disease) occurs with aging or joint trauma. Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disease that often occurs in younger adults when your body's own defenses attack your joint lining.
In some cases other organs, such as your eyes, heart, or skin, can also be affected by arthritis.
Symptoms of arthritis
Arthritic patients can have a wide range of symptoms. You may notice:
- Limited ability to move, walk, or bear weight
- Swelling or stiffness in your joints
- Tenderness and pain in your joints
You’re at a higher risk if you’re over age 65, overweight, have existing joint pain, or have experienced a joint injury.
Living with arthritis
Your doctor may recommend treatment options to manage your symptoms. There are steps you can take at home to reduce pain and manage your lifestyle.
Maintain a healthy weight
Excess weight can increase arthritic pain. Heavy weight and pressure on weight-bearing joints can ultimately lead to more severe symptoms. Adipose tissue (fat) sends out chemical signals that increase inflammation, which is the main source behind arthritic pain.
Maintaining a healthy weight decreases your chances for other health issues as well, such as heart disease, diabetes, and some cancers. Eat a balanced diet high in vegetables, fresh fruit, whole grains, and lean protein, such as beans, poultry, and fish. Limit processed foods, red meat, and sugary drinks like soda.
Use muscles you know are strong
Using muscles that are weak due to arthritis can be harmful long term. So, it’s best to use your strongest joints and muscles. When opening a door, use your shoulder or arm rather than your hand or fingers. Reduce hip pain by leading with your stronger leg.
Use technology to your advantage
Technology can be life-changing for someone with arthritis. If you’re using technology to work in your favor, you can reduce pain when doing everyday activities. For example, start moving to electric kitchen items. Instead of a manual can opening or mixer, choose the electric option.
In the bathroom, use automatic toilet bowl cleaners to reduce the need to clean manually; use spray-on mildew and tile cleaners and consider an electric toilet.
Learn to manage your arthritis pain with the help of Manhattan Podiatry Associates, PC, by scheduling a consultation to get your arthritis pain under control. Call our office most convenient to you or book an appointment online to explore your options today.