Arthritis is caused by a variety of conditions that erode the functioning of a joint causing inflammation and pain. While it often strikes the back, neck, hips, knees, and hands, it can also attack the joints in your feet and ankles. Untreated, the debilitating pain of foot and ankle arthritis can prevent you from just walking to the mailbox.
Two of the most common types of arthritis are:
Rheumatoid arthritis or RA—This arthritis is characterized by an irritation of the synovium which is the lining of the joints that insulate your bones from each other. In RA, your immune system incorrectly identifies and attacks this lining resulting in inflammation, degeneration, pain, and stiffness. Early detection is paramount in treating this form of arthritis since it is aggressive and will continue to create problems without treatment. Rest, ice, massages, and relaxing foot soaks are all helpful in relieving many of the symptoms. Custom made orthotic inserts also decrease the pain in the joints of the feet and ankles.
Osteoarthritis—This common type of arthritis results from the abuse your joints take every day as you live your life. As the soft tissue between the joints known as cartilage begins to deteriorate, the bones can come into direct contact with the debilitating swelling, redness, and pain overtaking the joint. Losing weight if you are overweight will help to take the pressure off the joints. Physical therapy exercises that increase strength and flexibility are also essential. Other types of inflammatory joint conditions include gout and psoriatic arthritis.
Whatever type of arthritis you are experiencing, a consultation with a foot care specialist is essential for identifying other causes of foot and ankle pain and in developing a comprehensive treatment plan. If you are concerned about foot and ankle arthritis, schedule an appointment with the Foot First Podiatry in New Albany, IN. Our highly-qualified podiatrist Dr. Zahid Ladha is committed to providing the best diagnostic care and medical treatment for you and your feet. Contact us at (812) 945-9221 and schedule an appointment today!