Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis and is generally referred to as the “wear and tear” form of arthritis. It causes a breakdown of cartilage in joints and commonly affects knees, hips, the spine, fingers, thumb and the big toe. Cartilage plays a crucial role as the shock absorber between joints. When osteoarthritis causes cartilage to deteriorate, tendons and ligaments can stretch out and bones can end up rubbing against each other. This can result in significant pain.
Staying fit and healthy is important as we age for several reasons but can definitely be hindered if you have osteoarthritis. Foot specialist, Dr. Harvey Danciger has helped many patients with osteoarthritis not only manage their condition but remain active as well. This can be accomplished by keeping the following in mind:
- Exercising can actually reduce joint pain
- You may have some pain after activity but it shouldn’t necessarily deter you from staying active – use heat and cold therapies to relieve pain.
- Stay balanced – Combine exercise with rest and joint care
- Splints or braces can help protect joints during exercise
- Choose aerobic activities that get your heart pumping – even yard and housework can accomplish that. Low impact choices such as biking and swimming are great options as well.
- Strength and range-of-motion exercises will keep your joints strong and flexible.
If you have osteoarthritis, make an appointment with Dr. Danciger before you start an exercise routine. This will help gauge what you are capable of handling and allow Dr. Danciger to identify problem areas to be careful with. Call our Palm Desert, CA podiatric office at (760) 568-0108 or request an appointment online.
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