In the past couple of days I have diagnosed several cases of arthritis in the foot. You may think that getting arthritis in the foot is an uncommon problem, but since there are many joints in the foot, it is a prime place for it to occur.
Over 30 million Americans suffer from arthritis in all parts of their body and while adults are the major sufferers of the disease, children can have this condition as well. Arthritis means that the cartilage and lining of your joints is swollen and inflammed.
Just like your hands, which have many joints and are a common affected area, feet have a similar likelihood because of the number of joints.
There are two types of arthritis: osteoarthritis and rheumotoid arthritis. Osteoarthritis is found in many older patients, but younger patients may have this condition due to an injury or overuse of a particular joint. The cartilage that covers the end of the bones begins to wear away, especially in weight-bearing joints, and often times bone spurs will develop in those areas. The inflammation from the spurs causes pain and swelling.
Rheumatoid arthritis can be found in people of all ages and is a chronic condition. When treating this ailment, podiatrists seek to provide their patients with pain relief, increase the motion in their joints, and improve strength in those areas.
So what can be done if you suffer from arthritis? There are several treatment options depending on the severity of your condition. Many people will have custom-made orthotics made for their shoes and others use accomodating shoes to alleviate much of the pain associated with the pain. Sometimes treatment can be as simple as rest or modified activity, an anti-inflammation medication, or an arthritis medication. A new option for those who suffer from debilitating arthritis is ankle implants, which can be customized to each patient's foot size, gender, and particular arthritis type. What is important for you to know is that there have been many advances in the field of podiatry in the study of arthritis and you do not need to suffer!
If you have arthritis the first thing you need to do is schedule an appointment with your podiatrist. We are the experts on conditions of the foot and ankle and will be able to best diagnosis and treat your problem. You need to take care of your feet because they need to last you a lifetime and in a lifetime you may walk over 75,000 miles!
Dr. Tina Boucher, DPM practices in Meriden, CT and sees patients of all ages. She enjoys treating arthritis, heel pain, warts, and diabetes. Visit her website at:
http://www.centralctfootcare.com and her blog