We all take our feet for granted until the pain, stiffness, and poor mobility of arthritis strike. If you are experiencing symptoms of arthritis in your feet, see your podiatrist for treatment. The best care plan depends on what a thorough evaluation reveals.
Let’s talk about the treatment options available for arthritis and where you can go for outstanding treatment of arthritis in Cincinnati, OH.
The Symptoms of Arthritis in the Feet
The Centers for Disease Control reports that there are up to 100 different types of arthritis, making it one of today’s most prevalent chronic health conditions. The most common types are:
- Osteoarthritis, or OA–also called wear and tear, or old age, arthritis
- Rheumatoid arthritis or RA is an autoimmune disorder characterized by widespread inflammation of joints and body organs
- Gout, characterized by uric acid crystals in the joints
- Fibromyalgia is known for its fatigue, joint and muscle pain, and mental health effects
- Lupus–inflammation that flares and subsides, affecting skin, mood, muscles, eyes, and more
Sadly, your feet can experience arthritis due to their complex structure and constant wear and tear as they bear full body weight. Walking, running, pivoting, and jumping subject feet to extreme stresses, and both connective tissues, joints, and bones can show arthritic changes.
Symptoms of feet arthritis include:
- Redness and warmth
- Poor balance
- Changes in gait
- Joint stiffness, especially when getting out of bed or rising from long periods of sitting
Evaluation and Treatment of Foot Arthritis
Your podiatrist has a wealth of experience and treatment options for arthritis in the feet and ankles. Digital X-ray imaging and lab tests help the foot doctor diagnose arthritis and its type. You may be asked to ambulate to determine gait and balance issues, and be sure to detail your symptoms in terms of location, severity, and what may worsen or improve them.
Treatment of foot arthritis is very individualized. In fact, there is no one treatment that proves best; however, you likely will receive a multi-faceted care plan that can be adjusted as your symptoms change.
Treatment plans may include:
- Over-the-counter NSAIDs to control pain and inflammation
- Weight loss to reduce stress on the joints
- Changing footwear to ensure good arch support and room in the toe boxes
- Wearing a walking boot or using a cane to offload body weight
- Resting, icing, and elevating to ease swelling
- Compression wear (socks or bandaging) to provide support
- Physical therapy to include stretching and strengthening exercises
- Drinking a lot of water each day (one ounce per pound of body weight) to flush out toxins, increase joint fluid, and reduce the uric acid crystals characteristic of gout
In more extreme cases, patients require joint replacement surgery (arthroplasty) or arthrodesis, the fusion of toe or ankle joints, to promote a more stable gait.
Foot Arthritis Care in Cincinnati, OH
Here at Cincinnati Foot & Ankle Care, our podiatrists understand the difficulty of living with arthritis in the feet. You will receive personalized medical care, and you can expect efficient and effective relief from your arthritis symptoms.
If you have any questions or would like to make an appointment with one of our outstanding podiatrists, contact our location near you or by filling out our easy-to-use appointment request form online now. We look forward to being your podiatric healthcare partner!