Every year, thousands of U.S. citizens are diagnosed with diseases and conditions that negatively impact the health of their feet and ankles. One of those many diseases and conditions is arthritis, affecting nearly 54 million diagnosed adults in the U.S. today. Arthritis is classified as the painful inflammation and stiffness of our joints, causing many well-known symptoms. These symptoms can include difficulty moving your limbs quickly, weakness in the extremities, bony protrusions, as well as tenderness, redness, and swelling.
Did you know that there are more than 100 different classifications of arthritis and related diseases today? Of the more commonly known forms of arthritis are osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and psoriatic arthritis. Osteoarthritis is the most commonly diagnosed form of arthritis due to it primarily developing in the joints of aging peoples and those who are obese. Osteoarthritis, as well as many other forms of arthritis, most often develop in our hands. The bones within our fingers are small, fragile, dexterous, and used for fine, complex motor activities, making them highly susceptible to developing joint inflammation and stiffness.
Studies have shown that there is a connection between some widely diagnosed conditions and developing arthritis. Some of these conditions include obesity, diabetes, and heart disease, whose symptoms leave individuals susceptible to developing arthritis in addition to their primary condition. While it’s unfortunate to develop and be diagnosed with arthritis, it’s not the end of the world! There are plenty of ways to make living with arthritis easier on your body and its inflamed joints. When it comes to arthritis in the feet and ankles, studies have shown that regular physical activity is one of your best defenses against further stiffening and inflammation of the joints. When used in combination with cold therapy, keeping active goes a much longer way. It seems counterproductive, but the longer your bones, joints, and tendons are sedentary, the more quickly the condition seems to progress. Putting your feet and ankles in the trusted hands of Dr. Michele Kurlanski at Lighthouse Foot & Ankle Center, with innovative technology like cold laser therapy to tackle arthritis-related symptoms, is a great first step to living peacefully with arthritis.
If you or someone you know is at risk of developing any of these conditions, or if they have already been diagnosed, be an advocate. Ask them if they’ve talked to their podiatrist about preventative measures to protect their feet and ankles from developing or worsening arthritis. Tell them to reach out to Dr. Kurlanski and team. Our convenient location in Scarborough, Maine not only houses our medical practice but a full foot store as well! Call today at (207) 774-0028 to schedule your next appointment.