Years ago, arthritis was considered an inherent part of the aging process and a signal to a patient that it’s time to slow down, but not so anymore. Recent research and clinical findings show that there is much more to life for arthritis patients than the traditional recommendation of bed rest and drug therapy.
What Is Arthritis?
The word “arthritis” means “joint inflammation” and is often used in reference to rheumatic diseases. Rheumatic diseases include more than 100 conditions, including gout, fibromyalgia, osteoarthritis, psoriatic arthritis, and many more. Rheumatoid arthritis is also a rheumatic disease, affecting about 1 percent of the population. Although rheumatoid arthritis often begins in middle age and is more frequent in the older generation, it can also start at a young age.
Rheumatoid arthritis causes pain, swelling, stiffness, and loss of function in the joints. Several features distinguish it from other kinds of arthritis:
- Assessment of the feet and advice about strategies for managing the condition.
- Advice about the types of shoes most suitable to the activity and the foot shape.
- Removal or reduction of the hard skin that may develop on toes or under the foot as a result of joint changes. They can also use different methods to protect the areas and prevent recurrence.
- Treating nails which have become thickened and difficult to cut.
- Prescription of orthoses or shoe inserts. As part of the consultation, the podiatrist will assess the person’s feet and way of walking and prescribe the orthoses most appropriate for the type of problem the person has. Pressure redistribution can help reduce joint stress, pain and deterioration.
You are often told you must live with arthritis, but that does not mean that you have to stop living. You should take an active part in your treatment. Seek treatment for arthritis as early as possible to help control pain and reduce damage to joints. Remember, if you have questions about the need for a test, or the risks or benefits of your treatment, ask your Podiatrist. Even with the best of treatment, arthritis of the foot and ankle may continue to cause you pain or changes in your activities. However, proper diagnosis and treatment will help to minimise these limitations and allow you to lead a productive, active lifestyle.
Arthritis and Food
When it comes to specific foods you should eat, an anti-inflammatory diet involves avoiding foods that make inflammation worse and eating plenty of foods that reduce inflammation. These foods all help to reduce some aspect of inflammation include:
Omega-3 fatty acids Salmon, herring, mackerel (not king), sardines, anchovies, rainbow trout, oysters, eggs, flaxseed (ground & oil) and walnuts.
Extra-virgin olive oil Use olive oil when cooking.
Antioxidants May help prevent arthritis, slow its progression & relieve pain.
We hope this has been helpful!