Arthritis, referring to the many types of joint disease, can cause inflammation, stiffness, and pain in joints all over the body, but the feet are especially susceptible to arthritis due to the large number of joints present. In the U.S., arthritis is diagnosed in over 53 million adults and 300,000 children each year and is the leading cause of disability. Of the numerous types, osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis are the most common.
During osteoarthritis, the cartilage between the bones degenerate. The friction of bones causes pain, stiffness and inflammation in the joints and can become chronic and lead to debilitating conditions if untreated.
Treatments often include strengthening muscles through physical therapy and exercise, custom orthotics, hot and cold therapies, and massages.
Joint inflammation in rheumatoid arthritis is caused by the immune system mistakenly attacking itself, which can lead to joint erosion and damage to organs and other parts of the body. In the foot, the toe joints and ankle can be affected and can become crippling. Treatment of this inflammatory arthritis usually includes disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs that help to suppress the uncontrolled inflammation.
No matter what type of arthritis you have, early detection and treatment is key to prevent further damage to the joints. The feet support all of your body weight and therefore any worsening of arthritic conditions can affect how you bear weight, walk, and exercise. Finding a skilled and trusted podiatrist is key to preventing and treating joint pain.
At Your Next Step, we have a team of dedicated podiatrists, Dr. Eric Ricefield, Dr. Mark Yagodich and Dr. Aliza V. Eisen, who can help treat not only arthritis, but any type of foot and ankle problem. Common conditions they treat are plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendonitis, nail fungus, ankle injuries, and bunions, and our office is equipped with advanced technologies to diagnose and treat issues quickly and effectively. Please visit our website and contact us at our offices located in Ardmore, Paoli, and Downingtown to schedule an appointment today!