Lifestyle Changes that Can Improve Your Arthritic Foot Condition and Quality of Life

Arthritis is a term for more than 100 conditions that cause inflammation and swelling in your joints and surrounding tissues. With most kinds of arthritis, the cartilage that cushions and supports your joints starts to wear away, causing your bones to rub against each other. This leads to symptoms such as inflammation, pain, swelling, and limited mobility.

The most common types of arthritis that affect the 33 joints and 28 bones in your feet include osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, gout, and post-traumatic arthritis. All of these can cause debilitating foot pain, leading to a poor quality of life.

Thankfully, there are many lifestyle changes you can make to reduce your foot pain and boost your mobility and quality of life as a result. 

At the Foot and Ankle Institute of Colorado in Colorado Springs, Colorado, podiatrists Matthew Hinderland, DPM, Jordan Cameron, DPM, Trevor Whiting, DPM, and Joseph Fleck, DPM, have years of experience treating arthritic foot pain.

In this blog, we explore some helpful changes you can make to improve your foot arthritis.

Modify your activity 

How much physical activity and what kind of physical activity you do can have a huge impact on your arthritis pain levels. 

Start by paying attention to what causes flare-ups and adjust as necessary. If sitting for too long causes pain and stiffness, make sure to get up and walk around to get your joints moving. Balance movement with periods of rest and prioritize good posture. 

You also want to try to exercise as much as you can to keep your joints flexible. Avoid high-impact exercises such as running, jumping, and tennis, and try walking, cycling, and swimming instead.

Eat a nutritious diet

Getting the right nutrients in your diet can help reduce bodily inflammation and minimize arthritis-related pain and stiffness as a result. 

We recommend eating a Mediterranean-style diet. This diet consists of mainly plant-based foods along with omega-3 fatty acids and lean proteins such as fish and poultry. Other foods known to reduce inflammation are berries, pomegranates, and cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli. 

Try to avoid large amounts of sugar, saturated fats, and processed foods, as all are known to increase inflammation. 

Manage your weight

When you’re overweight, you put a lot of undue stress on your joints, which can aggravate arthritis pain and speed up the degeneration process. It can also increase your risk of conditions that worsen arthritis such as high cholesterol and high blood pressure. 

Making good lifestyle choices like eating healthy and exercising regularly can help with weight management.

Eliminate bad habits

If you smoke regularly or deal with high stress levels in unhealthy ways, you can increase the amount of damaging toxins in your body and speed up the degenerative process of your arthritis. 

We highly recommend decreasing your smoking habit or quitting it altogether. Healthy ways to reduce stress include meditation, yoga, listening to music, walking in nature, or whatever else helps you relax.

If you’d like to learn more about managing your arthritic foot condition, call our office at 719-488-4664, or use our online scheduler to book an appointment.

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Office CLOSED 3/14/24 for Winter Storm

Our office will be closed on 3/14/24 for the anticipated large impact winter storm that is approaching.  We will still be available by phone at 719-488-4664 during business hours to help you.