When thinking about arthritis, most people assume it only affects major joints, like the knees or hips; however, any arthritis can develop in any joint, including your feet. Because this is Arthritis Awareness Month, today’s post by Dr. Eric Ricefield, Dr. Mark Yagodich, Dr. Aliza V. Eisen, and Cassandra Stache, DPM of greater Philadelphia’s Your Next Step Foot and Ankle Care Center shares what you need to know about this condition.
Who’s at Risk?
While anyone can develop arthritis at any time, it occurs more often as a person ages. It’s a disease in which the cartilage in the joints deteriorates. Cartilage is a flexible, but tough tissue that absorbs impact and cushions the bones of joints so they don’t rub together.
Those flat feet or high arches are at risk because these conditions can put too much stress on their feet. If you are living with arthritis in your feet, the faster you learn to manage it, the less damage it may cause in your ankles and feet.
Symptoms of Arthritis in Your Feet
Like most types of arthritis, arthritis in your feet can be quite painful. Some of the most common symptoms include:
- Tenderness when touched.
- Pain when you move your ankles or feet.
- Difficulty putting pressure on your feet or standing.
- Redness or swelling of the affected joints.
- Swelling or pain even when resting.
While these symptoms can be a sign that you have arthritis, the best way to know for sure is to be examined by a podiatrist.
Conservative Treatment Options
If you have arthritis in your ankles or feet, there are several conservative treatments that can help you manage the disorder, such as:
- Physical therapy
- Over-the-counter anti-inflammatory drugs, like ibuprofen
- Wearing shoes that provide adequate support
- Custom-made orthotics for your shoes
- Using a brace or cane to provide assistance when walking.
- Injections of anti-inflammatory medication administered by your podiatrist.
If you have – or think you may have – arthritis in your ankles or feet and want to learn more about your treatment options, contact the team at Greater Philadelphia’s Your Next Step Foot and Ankle Care Center. You can click here to locate contact information for the office nearest you to book your appointment.