If you are experiencing pain in your feet and ankles, it’s not always due to an injury or improper footwear—it could also be arthritis. It’s true that when think of this condition, we typically think of it as affecting hands and wrists, but you can actually get arthritis in feet as well, and it can be just as painful and debilitating.
This progressive condition is characterized by inflammation in your joints which causes pain and stiffness. It can keep you from moving around comfortably and participating in activities that you enjoy. One of the most common types that affect the feet is called osteoarthritis, which is a result of wear-and-tear. It typically comes with age and heavy use of the joints in your foot and ankle.
Signs of Osteoarthritis in Feet
Since your foot is comprised of over 30 joints, you can imagine that when these joints are inflamed, it can become very painful. Some signs that you may be experiencing the onset of osteoarthritis include: swelling of your foot and/or ankle, stiffness, tenderness, a reduced capacity to walk or bear weight on your foot, and of course, pain.
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, you should make an appointment with a podiatrist. The sooner you treat the condition, the sooner you can get back to living an active life. Your doctor will likely ask about your medical history, then perform a series of examinations that could include, X-rays, MRI’s, or CT scans. These will help confirm the diagnosis so that treatment options can begin.
Treating your Feet
Since Osteoarthritis is so common, there are many nonsurgical treatment options to help alleviate the pain. Anti-inflammatory drugs are typically recommended. Some doctors may prescribe injecting medication into the joints. Other treatment options include the use of inserts like orthotics, which provide added comfort and support. These can be place inside the shoes to help evenly distribute weight and reduce pain. Also, purchasing custom shoes can provide the support you are currently lacking. Similarly, the use of canes or braces can be used to help facilitate moving.
If your discomfort is so extreme that you’ve become immobile, your podiatrist might recommend physical therapy. This will allow you to properly exercise your joints which will alleviate the pain you’re experiencing. Although the thought of moving might make you cringe, it’s exactly what you have to do to rid yourself of the discomfort.
Tips for Arthritis in Feet
Find a shoe that fits properly and provides support. Proper footwear can make all the difference. When purchasing a shoe keep this check list in mind: the shoe must be flexible and have support. It should not slip or rub when you walk. Choose rubber soles which provide extra cushion and are easier on the feet. If you are still unsure whether the shoe fits properly, ask a salesperson to measure your foot. You can also bring your shoes to Mark Gasparini, D.P.M. and he can help determine if they fit properly. Call (516) 804-9038 and schedule an appointment, or visit us at our Massapequa, NY location. Let us help get you moving again without pain.