Osteoarthritis is a disorder in which cartilage in one or more joints breaks down and eventually falls off. Cartilage (the connective tissue at the ends of bones in joints) protects and cushions the bones as they move. When cartilage deteriorates or is destroyed, symptoms emerge that might make it challenging to carry out regular tasks.
Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis, affecting millions of people in the United States. Osteoarthritis affects the hands, feet, spine, hips, and knees, among other joints in the body. The condition most commonly affects the big toe in the foot, although it can also affect the midfoot and ankle.
Even though there are many different varieties of arthritis, some people refer to osteoarthritis simply as arthritis. Degenerative arthritis is another name for osteoarthritis, which develops as part of aging.
Causes and Symptoms of Arthritis in the Foot and Ankle
Osteoarthritis is a wear-and-tear disease in which the cartilage in the joint breaks down over time due to chronic stress and use. The bones lose their protective covering as the cartilage deteriorates and thins, and they may eventually rub together, causing joint pain and inflammation.
Abnormal foot mechanics, such as flat feet or high arches, can cause osteoarthritis to develop. A flat foot causes the ligaments (tissue bands that connect bones) to lose stability, causing undue joint tension, which can lead to arthritis. A high arch is inflexible and immobile, resulting in joint jamming and an increased risk of arthritis.
Pain and stiffness in the joint, swelling in or near the joint, and difficulty walking or bending the joint are all symptoms of osteoarthritis in the foot or ankle.
A bone spur can form at the afflicted joint in some patients with osteoarthritis. Shoe pressure can cause pain at the site of a bone spur, and blisters or calluses can form on the surface in some situations. Joint movement can also be restricted by bone spurs.
How a Podiatrist Can Help Treat Your Arthritis Pain
When it comes to managing your arthritis pain, seeing a qualified podiatrist is key. Rocky Mountain Foot & Ankle podiatrists will work with you to develop a treatment plan that includes lifestyle changes, nutrition, exercises and physical therapy, medications, injections, and sometimes surgery. Our podiatrists can help with the following areas:
Your podiatrist may suggest lifestyle changes such as weight loss or changing shoe types and wearing orthotics to reduce the stress on your joints.
Eating a balanced diet can help you maintain a healthy weight, reduce inflammation in your body, and ensure that your joint cartilage is well-nourished. Your podiatrist will also provide advice about supplements or vitamins that may be beneficial for arthritis pain.
Exercises and physical therapy
Exercises and physical therapy can help to strengthen the muscles around your joints. This will reduce the pain associated with arthritis, increase flexibility and mobility, and improve balance.
Your podiatrist may prescribe medications such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) or steroids to reduce swelling and pain. If your arthritis is severe, they may prescribe disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs) to slow the progression of the condition.
Injections of corticosteroids or hyaluronic acid may be used to reduce inflammation and provide temporary relief from arthritis pain.
In some cases, surgery may be necessary to repair damaged joints or to replace them with artificial ones.
Are You Suffering With Arthritis In The Caldwell Or Meridian, Idaho Area?
If you're suffering with arthritis you owe it to yourself to speak with our experienced podiatrists as soon as possible. Please feel free to contact us online or call our office directly at 208.855.5955 to schedule your appointment. We service all areas surrounding Meridian, Idaho as well as all areas in the Caldwell, Idaho area. We look forward to helping you!