We’ve all heard about the struggles of joint pain, probably from your older relatives and friends. Unfortunately, it is likely a condition that many of us will experience as we age. Why? It is a joint disease that affects the joints in our bodies, especially in our extremities like our feet and ankles. Arthritis causes inflammation in the joints, whether from lack of cartilage or from other systemic conditions, which creates a very painful condition of bones rubbing against each other. This rubbing of the bones causes severe pain and leads to a reduction in mobility, function, and foot or ankle deformities.
What are the different types of arthritis?
- Osteoarthritis – wear and tear arthritis that progresses with age and gets worse over time
- Rheumatoid Arthritis – where the immune system attacks itself, including joints
- Post-Traumatic Arthritis – develops after a severe injury to the foot or ankle and may progress after years after a severe injury.
Symptoms of this condition vary by the type but generally include pain, stiffness, swelling, and a reduction in mobility. Indications of arthritis also include inflexibility and a reduction in movement. Big traumas that can cause damage to your foot can also bring on arthritis. Proper arthritic foot care can effectively slow down its effects so that you do not experience severe pain.
How do you treat arthritis?
- Anti-inflammatories are useful to reduce swelling,
- medications are utilized to relieve pain,
- orthotics are helpful, specially made shoes that have a comfortable fit allow for swollen feet to have more space to move, padding, braces,
- physical therapy
- loss of weight to help reduce pressure on the injured joints.
- If the arthritic condition in the foot or ankle does not respond to the non-invasive methods, surgical options will likely be needed, which typically involves a fusion of the joints or complete replacement of joints.
If you experience problems or pain in your joints, it’s time to consult with a foot care specialist. Here at Stavros O. Alexopoulos, DPM, our expert podiatrist, Dr. Stavros O. Alexopoulos, knows how much arthritis can impact your daily routine. Get help and improve your symptoms with a foot doctor’s help. Schedule an appointment today by contacting our Chicago office at (773)561-8100.