Arthritis Often Affects Feet and Ankles
The term arthritis refers to pain or inflammation in a joint, and includes over 100 types of diseases. If you or someone in your family has a form of this condition, you know what it means to struggle with swelling, stiffness, and sore joints. It is common to hear of someone needing surgery to implant an artificial knee or hip because the joints have degenerated so much that they cannot move without severe pain. You may not know that it is also common for this condition to affect the feet and ankles.
What Does Arthritis in My Feet Look Like?
Three types of this joint disease are more likely to affect your feet or ankles.
Osteoarthritis is the result of wear and tear over time, and is more common in older adults. Your feet and ankles absorb a lot of stress, because they are essential for so much of your movement. As you age, the cartilage in your joints begins to wear down, and the ends of your bones start rubbing together. This friction irritates the bones and tissue of the joint, which may become red, swollen, and bring the deep, achy pain associated with this disease.
In rheumatoid arthritis, certain triggers cause the immune system to see its own cartilage tissue as the enemy and begin to attack it. The resulting degeneration causes the joints to become swollen, stiff, and tender to the touch. Redness and warmth may also be present. Over time, the support structure of the foot and ankle can collapse, and the foot may become deformed, making walking difficult and painful.
A third type of this disease to affect your lower extremities is called post-traumatic arthritis. This type behaves similarly to osteoarthritis, except that the cause can be traced to a specific injury rather than general wear on the joint over the years. It can manifest several years after a bad sprain, broken ankle, or torn ligament occurs, even when the injury was properly treated at the time.
Another form of arthritis that is infamous for causing flares of searing pain at night is gout. It is most commonly felt in the toe.
Is There Help for My Sore Joints?
There are many remedies for dealing with this debilitating disease, but it is important to know for sure what type of arthritis you are experiencing. If you notice your joints are more tender, swollen, or painful, it’s time to set up an appointment at Aadvanced Foot Care Associates. We will examine the foot and ask questions about the frequency, duration, and severity of your pain. We may use X-rays, CT scans, or MRIs to evaluate the extent of the damage and determine the best type of treatment.
Treatments range from simple remedies like pain relievers and anti-inflammatory medications, to the use of orthotics or custom shoes and canes for proper support and stability. Physical therapy or steroid medications may also be prescribed. To lessen the impact of this disease–keep your weight under control and participate in exercise that helps your joints stay flexible and strong. We can help you with these goals. Contact one of our offices in the New York area today: Rego Park (718) 896-4433, Plainview (516) 822-9595 or Flushing (718) 969-2266. You can also make an appointment on our website. Our goal is to help you enjoy an active and pain-free life.