What’s Putting You at Risk for Arthritis?
Every action, even ones that seem small, can have consequences you don’t recognize. This is often called the butterfly effect—the idea that even the flap of a butterfly’s wings could result in big consequences, like hurricanes.
While butterfly wings flapping don’t really contribute to hurricanes around the world, the concept has truth to it. The tiny actions we take can have big impacts. This is easy to see in your body, where seemingly small risk factors for arthritis can contribute to serious pain later.
Arthritis is progressive inflammation and damage to your joints. There are many different kinds, but one of the most common types is osteoarthritis. It can affect anyone, particularly later in life—however, certain factors can make it much more likely you’ll develop joint issues. Some of the factors are controllable, while others are not. Knowing what can increase your risk for joint damage can help you take steps to protect your lower limbs:
- Excess body weight – Being overweight puts pressure on your joints, which adds to the progressive wear and tear damage.
- High impact sports – Running, jumping, landing, and generally participating in high-impact activities can stress your joints and wear down the protective tissues there over time.
- Previous injuries – Injuries to your joints in the past, like broken bones or torn tissues, make it more likely the joint will suffer from arthritis later.
- Shoe choices – Constantly wearing shoes that put added pressure on one area, like high heels, can wear on the joints in your forefoot.
- Age and family history – This is outside of your control, but the older you get, the more your joints have been used and worn down, so the more likely you’ll have arthritis problems. Having joint issues run in your family makes it more likely you’ll have trouble, too.
If one or more of these risk factors apply to you, investing in your joint health should be a priority to keep your lower limbs strong and pain-free. Don’t wait until the issue is serious to begin foot care. Our team at Family Foot & Ankle Care of Jasper can help you take care of your joints and manage any pain you may already be having. Contact our office for more information or a consultation about your joint health today. Use our website or call our office at (812) 481-7200.