Foot Arthritis Treatment
Proper treatment of foot and ankle arthritis addresses both pain and joint deformity. Pain develops when the joint is injured. Injury to the joint may result from swelling caused by inflammatory arthritis or from the loss of joint surface (cartilage), often caused by trauma. If left untreated, the foot and ankle may eventually become deformed.
It’s very important to pay attention to symptoms! See your doctor and get an accurate diagnosis so that you may get the treatment that’s right for you!
The most common types of arthritis found in the feet are osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and posttraumatic arthritis. There may be some other types as well. These are psoriatic arthritis of the foot, Reiter’s syndrome and ankolysing spondylitis. All these diseases cause various symptoms such as pain intensity from mild to very severe pain. Your feet may be swollen and reddened, because of arthritis.
If your doctor suspects you have arthritis of the foot and ankle, he/she will ask you to have a complete medical history and physical examination. X-rays and laboratory tests often can confirm the type and extent of the arthritis. Other tests such as a bone scan, computed tomography (CT) scan, or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) may be used to evaluate your condition.
Once your doctor confirms you have arthritis, he/she will recommend a treatment regimen which may include medications by mouth (anti-inflammatories), injections (steroids), physical therapy, weight loss, or orthotics such as pads in your shoes or custom-made braces. Surgery may be necessary. This may mean cleaning the arthritic joint, eliminating the painful motion of the joint, replacing the joint with an artificial joint or a combination of all these.
After surgery, you will require a period of rehabilitation when your foot might have to be in a cast and you might have to wear special shoes or braces for a while.
Alternative Foot Arthritis Treatment
Pay Attention To Symptoms and Diagnose Arthritis Early
The earlier an accurate diagnosis is made and treatment started, the better. Early treatment can often mean less joint damage and less pain. Doctors advice for early arthritis treatment of rheumatoid arthritis because they believe that when you treat RA is just as important as how you treat it.
Learn How to Protect Your Foot Joints
Try to avoid picking up very heavy items to reduce stress on your foot joints. Assistive devices can make tasks at home and work easier. In addition, staying close to your recommended weight also helps relieve damaging pressure on your ankles and feet. For every pound of extra weight you lose, that’s four pounds less pressure off each foot and ankle. Start by cutting calories and focusing on a healthy, well-rounded diet.
Get Moving To Reduce Pain
While foot arthritis is commonly treated with medications, physical therapy, ice and heat therapy, exercising can also reduce pain. Exercise helps lessen pain, increases range of movement, reduces fatigue and helps you feel better overall. A well-rounded workout routine for people with arthritis includes flexibility exercises to increase range of motion, aerobic exercises to improve endurance and decrease fatigue, and strengthening exercises to improve muscle fitness.
Walking is one of the best exercise for foot arthritis treatment because it involves all of the joints in the foot. Walking helps strengthen the muscles that support the foot and increases blood flow to the feet, which will help with joint stiffness. You should wear shoes that are well-cushioned and fit your feet comfortably. To get the full benefit of walking, plan to walk for half an hour per day and at least five days per week.