Arthritis and Your Feet
Arthritis can affect the joints in your ankles, feet and toes, many times causing severe pain. Individuals suffering from arthritis often experience swelling and stiffness in their joints, which can make normal daily activities very difficult to accomplish. In some cases, the shape of the foot or toes can change and make it difficult to fit into shoes properly.
However, there are some things you can do to help minimize the effects of arthritis. Of course, it is crucial you seek the advice of your podiatrist before engaging in any activity or treatment. A podiatrist can make a complete and proper diagnosis of the problem and help you design a treatment plan.
Exercise may help keep the joints flexible, although you have to be careful to make arthritis pain worse. Choosing a low impact exercise that is easier on your joints is typically best, such as exercising in a pool or cycling instead of jogging. These activities do not put as much pressure on your feet and joints, making it less likely you will experience pain.
Arthritis is often linked to weight problems because of the added pressure extra weight puts on ankles and feet. By losing weight, you can relieve the impact of obesity and help your joints deal with daily stress.
A podiatrist is highly trained in curingyour feet problems and can properly diagnose and give treatment. They can prescribe treatment plans that include everything from surgery and medication, to orthotics and exercise programs. Never self-diagnose foot problems. You should always consult your podiatrist to ensure there is not a larger issue present.
Dealing with Arthritis
Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis and involves the cartilage wearing away that once protected the end of your bones. However, there are also many other types of arthritis that can lead to problems with your joints and foot pain.
Types of Arthritis:
- Polymyalgia rheumatica
- Ankylosing spondylitis
Each type comes with its own set of problems and needs treatment specific to the exact type. While some of the symptoms may be similar, long-term effects if left untreated can vary widely and present different levels of risk. This is why it takes a full examination and professional diagnosis to know for sure what the proper treatment should be. If you think you are developing an issue with arthritis, contact your podiatrist and get an early diagnosis. This will make it much easier in finding a solution to the problem.