The term “arthritis” describes a variety of conditions that erode or otherwise damage the lining of your joints causing inflammation and pain. Bones can start rubbing against each other and this and other painful symptoms often first show up in the hands, feet and ankles. When you initially notice signs of arthritis in your feet and ankles, make an appointment with your foot doctor to begin treatment and help reduce future complications and prevent some of the damage.
Some common types of arthritis include the following:
- Osteoarthritis—This type of arthritis accompanies the aging process and is characterized by the breakdown of the cartilage that creates the cushioning in your joints. As the lining of the joints decreases, bones begin rubbing directly against each other, which causes swelling, stiffness, and pain. Losing weight if you are overweight will relieve pressure on the joints in the feet and ankles and eating a proper diet can help decrease the decline in cartilage. Physical therapy exercises are also useful for retaining and maintaining some movement in the joints.
- Rheumatoid arthritis (RA)—This disease occurs when the lining that cushions your joints is attacked by your immune system. RA is a ravaging disease and early treatment and proper diet and exercise can help prevent some of the pain and stiffness. Orthotic shoe inserts can be used to redistribute stress and pressure and alleviate pain. Resting, icing, and therapeutic massage are also good treatments.
If you are suffering with foot and ankle arthritis, see your foot care professional for the best care.
At Your Next Step, our team of board-certified podiatrists has access to advanced technologies, along with years of experience, to help diagnose and treat a variety of foot and ankle problems, including sports injuries, joint pain, toe deformities, nail fungus, chronic tendon pain, and skin problems. Dr. Eric Ricefield, Dr. Mark Yagodich and Dr. Aliza V. Eisen provide high quality foot and ankle care to patients in the greater Philadelphia area at our offices conveniently located in Ardmore, Paoli, Woodlyn, and Downingtown. Please contact us for more information or to schedule an appointment.