When arthritis develops in your feet, you may find yourself altering your routines to avoid pain and swelling. Working with Scott Norris, DPM, and Camille Christensen, DPM, of C&S Foot and Ankle in McKees Rock, Pennsylvania, can help you find relief from arthritis pain, giving you more control over your quality of life. Schedule a visit online or by phone today to learn more.

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What is arthritis?

Arthritis is not a single condition but a term used to describe a collection of more than 100 different conditions. What all forms of arthritis have in common is pain, swelling, and stiffness within affected joints.

Because there are so many bones and joints within your feet, arthritis can develop in any of the 30+ areas where two bones meet. Your feet also experience frequent movement and pressure each and every day, which can wear down the joint components and increase your risk of arthritis.

Some of the most common types of arthritis that affect the feet include osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and posttraumatic arthritis.

What are some signs I might have arthritis?

Understanding the signs of arthritis help make it easier for you to know when to seek professional care. While everyone experiences occasional foot pain, arthritis creates a range of symptoms in addition to discomfort.

Some of the indications you might have arthritis include:

  • Pain during movement
  • Pain that flares up when you engage in vigorous activity
  • Tenderness when you touch the affected joint
  • Swelling
  • Sensation of warmth
  • Reddened skin
  • Heightened pain and swelling after periods of sleep or sitting

Your podiatrist offers a number of diagnostic tools to determine if you have arthritis in your feet or ankles.

What can be done to treat arthritis in the foot or ankle?

Your treatment path depends on your unique experience with arthritis, as well as your overall health. If you are overweight or obese, weight loss is a great way to relieve strain on your feet and ankles.

Begin by paying close attention to the activities that cause arthritis flare-ups, then take steps to avoid those actions. By shifting your routines, you can remain active and healthy even if you have arthritis. Walking or biking instead of running or incorporating swimming into your exercise plan can go a long way towards promoting recovery.

Wearing a foot or ankle brace can help by stabilizing the foot and minimizing pressure on the arthritic joint(s). Over-the-counter pain medication helps reduce discomfort.

Arthroscopic debridement is a minimally invasive surgical procedure that treats arthritis by removing damaged tissue. Removing bone spurs is helpful in many cases.

A fusion procedure called arthrodesis helps by using devices to permanently affix bones together. Over time your bone tissue will fuse at these junctures, eliminating the joint and the pain of arthritis.

If you’d like more information about arthritis and treatment options, book a visit online or by phone at your earliest convenience.