Arthritis is characterized by joint inflammation that causes pain and stiffness around the affected joints and surrounding tissue. In fact, there is not one but many kinds of arthritis (more than 100 diseases), of which osteoarthritis is the most common, often manifesting in the foot and ankle.
Osteoarthritis, also called degenerative joint disease, usually develops due to aging. The condition develops gradually over many years, as cartilage tissues break down due to inflammation and injury, the result of which is pain and swelling. Nearly half of adults over 60 suffer from foot arthritis or osteoarthritis.
Despite their small size, each foot is an intricate structure of 28 bones and more than 30 joints. That means that there are many places for arthritis to affect your foot and ankle. Some of the common symptoms of foot arthritis or osteoarthritis are pain or tenderness, joint stiffness and swelling, and decreased mobility. Eventually, the condition can severely limit movement.
Treatments for Foot Arthritis
Perhaps one of the best steps to take if you are suffering from ongoing foot pain and decreased mobility is to consult your Lansdale foot pain specialist, who can determine whether you are suffering from osteoarthritis and prescribe a proper course of treatment.
There are also other strategies to reduce your discomfort:
Stretch and Move Your Foot Regularly: Stretching your foot, especially the Achilles tendon, will make it stronger and improve its flexibility and mobility. Whenever you sit for extended periods, make sure to wiggle your toes frequently. Improving your foot’s flexibility and mobility should help with the symptoms of foot arthritis.
Get a Foot Massage: Foot massages improve blood circulation in your feet, providing some relief from foot arthritis. If you or another non-professional is delivering the massage, be sure to start at the toes, kneading them and the balls of your feet, while working your way down to the heel.
Put on Comfortable Shoes: Arthritis may not only be compounded by, but even be the result of ill-fitting shoes. Confine your shoe-wearing to pairs which are comfortable and supportive, and with arch supports that stabilize the joints and bones of your feet.
Take Medications, Apply Treatments: Over the counter nonsteroidal, anti-inflammatory drugs may help relieve arthritis pain (but please consult with your doctor or podiatrist first). Over-the- counter topical treatments with capsaicin can provide relief too.
Wear Orthotics: Your Lansdale foot orthotics expert will be able to tell you if custom orthotics can help alleviate your foot arthritis pain. He may also suggest that you use a cane or braces.
If no other treatments can effectively reduce pain, a last resort is foot surgery, such as joint replacements.
If you are suffering persistent foot pain, please make an appointment with your Lansdale podiatrist, so we can diagnose your condition and prescribe proper treatment.
Kansas City Foot Specialists