Staying Active with Arthritis When Winter Weather Strikes

As frost settles in and winter gets going in earnest, seniors with arthritis feel the chill extend to their joints. Stiffness, aches, and even difficulty walking can make enjoying the season a painful challenge.

Step by Step Family Foot Care won’t leave you out in the cold! We’re invested in patient education as a crucial component of ensuring good outcomes, so with that in mind, we crafted this blog post to guide your steps toward a painless winter.

Cold Concerns

Lower temperatures and damp weather often exacerbate joint pain because reduced barometric pressure increases inflammation, while slippery surfaces add to the risk of falls. What can you do about it? Two steps make for a good start:

  1. Low-impact exercises like water aerobics, yoga, or tai chi can improve flexibility, strengthen muscles, and reduce pain.
  2. Maintaining a healthy weight can reduce pain and improve mobility. Excess weight puts extra strain on your joints, hampering your daily routines.

Now, let’s tackle two common forms of arthritis that you might face. First up is Osteoarthritis (OA). This “wear-and-tear” arthritis affects the cartilage in your joints. To slow its progression:

  • Strengthen supporting muscles. Strong muscles take pressure off your joints, easing pain and improving stability. Try isometric exercises targeting your legs and ankles.
  • Explore pain management options. Consult your podiatrist about pain management strategies like non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), corticosteroid injections, or even certain nutritional supplements for longer-term relief.
  • Consider custom orthotic devices. They can provide necessary support, bolster the foot’s mechanics, and provide cushioning to minimize discomfort.

Then there’s Hallux Rigidus. This form of degenerative arthritis affects the big toe joint, causing pain and stiffness when bending. For relief:

  • Wear wider shoes with cushioned soles. Allow ample space for your toe joint to move comfortably. Consider stiff or rocker-bottom soles and ditch high heels for good.
  • Physical therapy or ultrasound therapy modalities are solid conservative choices for relief.
  • In severe cases, surgery to remove bone spurs or realign the joint might be necessary.

Step By Step Family Foot Care is here to assist you with any of your podiatry needs! To consult with Dr. Debra Manheim, call us at (973) 917-3785 or visit our site to schedule an appointment. The staff at our Parsippany office is ready and eager to help!

What Is Gout?


Over 3 million Americans are affected by gout each year, making it a very common condition that not many know much about. So, what is it? Gout is a painful form of arthritis, with the big toe joint usually being most affected. It can create tenderness, inflammation, and redness, making it difficult to walk and participate in our everyday activities. Gout has a lot to do with what we eat and with March being National Nutrition Month, we thought it was the perfect time to go over some quick facts.

All About Gout

As stated above, gout is a form of arthritis that normally affects the big toe joint, but it can affect other joints, too. It begins when your body has abnormally high levels of uric acid.

Our bodies naturally produce uric acid, but we get it from different foods, as well. When our bodies have excess levels of uric acid, it creates sharp crystals in our joints, tissues, and bloodstream. This can be disastrous for our joints, which is where gout comes in. With gout, you’ll likely experience severe pain, swelling, and redness in your joints.

What About Uric Acid?

When we eat foods rich in purines, our bodies are more likely to develop gout. Which foods have high levels of purines? Things like…

  • Red meat
  • Shellfish
  • Beer
  • Red wine
  • Brandy
  • Food and drinks high in fructose sugar, like soda

To prevent gout, limit your intake of purine-rich foods, exercise daily, and maintain a healthy weight.

Treating This Condition

If you have gout, you’ll likely have to take some sort of medication to combat your symptoms. Some will reduce any inflammation you have, while others prevent pain from gout attacks by lowering the amount of uric acid in your bloodstream.

Step By Step Family Foot Care is here to assist you with any of your podiatry needs! To make an appointment with Dr. Debra Manheim, call us at (973) 917-3785 or visit our site to schedule an appointment. The staff at our Parsippany office is ready and eager to help.

Living With Arthritis


We know arthritis can limit your activity and prevent you from enjoying the things you love. With no cure for your condition, you might begin to feel hopeless. But hope is not lost! With the help of a trusted podiatrist, there are plenty of ways you can treat and overcome arthritis. Here’s your simple guide on how to live with arthritis.

Switch Up Your Daily Routine

Making some minor lifestyle changes can drastically help ease any pain and discomfort you feel from arthritis. Minimizing any activities that aggravate your condition is highly recommended. For those who love to run, limit your activity to a short walk. Always pay attention to how your body responds and adjust from there. Swimming and cycling are also great alternatives to high-impact sports. Staying active despite your arthritis is recommended; maintaining a healthy weight can help put less stress on your joints.

Ask About Physical Therapy

There are plenty of specific exercises that help increase flexibility and strengthen muscles. Your podiatrist can come up with a personalized exercise routine that fits your needs. In most cases, physical therapy is a great way to lessen pain from arthritis. But for others, exercise and movement can lead to more pain. If this is the case, let your podiatrist know.

Consider Orthotics and Inserts

One of the best ways you can manage arthritis is by wearing custom orthotics and shoe inserts. Orthotics are designed to be worn inside your shoe, providing support, and lessening the pain of the condition you’re dealing with. For arthritis, they can also put less pressure on your joints and increase mobility.

Seek Surgery

If your arthritis pain and discomfort impact your life daily, it might be time to talk with your podiatrist about surgery. There are numerous types of surgery, all based on where your arthritis is located and the impact it’s had on your joints.

If you suffer from arthritis, getting treatment is crucial. Contact your podiatrist and discuss your pain. Step By Step Family Foot Care is here to assist you with any of your podiatry needs! To make an appointment with Dr. Debra Manheim, call us at (973) 917-3785 or visit our site to schedule an appointment. The staff at our Parsippany office is ready and eager to help.