You may imagine swollen knuckles and twisted fingers when you think about arthritis, but it can affect joints throughout your body. In fact, arthritis is a broad term that encompasses more than 100 separate conditions. Several types of arthritis can affect your feet and ankles and cause chronic pain, and Dr. Joseph Harvey and Dr. Richard Nichols and Alliance Foot & Ankle Specialists have expertise and experience in helping to ease the pain caused by arthritis.
Because arthritis is a progressive, degenerative condition it’s going to worsen over time. However, there are treatments that can slow the progression down and that can ease your symptoms, giving you the freedom to spend time on the golf course, shopping, or enjoying other leisure activities.
Arthritis, Your Feet, and Chronic Pain
Several types of arthritis are common causes of chronic foot and ankle pain. For example, osteoarthritis is often a culprit.
Osteoarthritis, sometimes abbreviated OA, is simply wear-and-tear. Over time, your joints start to wear out. Genetics, your lifestyle, and other factors can speed up or slow down that wear-and-tear, but generally, the older you are, the higher your risk of OA.
OA can make the joint hurt where your ankle bones and your shin come together, as well as the other joints in your feet and even in your toes. If you have it, you likely have had some pain and inflammation for a long time that has slowly increased.
Rheumatoid arthritis, or RA, is another type of the disease that can affect your feet and ankles -- along with many other joints in your body. RA is a systemic disease, which means that it impacts your whole system or your entire body.
Gout is another type of arthritis, and it most commonly makes the joint at the base of your big toe hurt. Gout usually occurs suddenly, as an attack. It can come and go and is caused by a buildup of urate crystals in your joints.
Treatments for Arthritis
Although the types of arthritis that can affect your toes, feet, and ankles stem from different underlying causes, the result is the same. You’re in pain and unable to do the things you need and want to do. Treatment can help.
Some of the simplest treatments include changing lifestyle factors, such as losing weight if you’re overweight so that your joints aren’t under as much pressure, and changing your diet to improve nutrition. Our staff may also show you some simple exercises you can do to strengthen the structures around your joints so that they have better support.
Another treatment available at Alliance Foot & Ankle Specialists is the implantable neurostimulator pulse generator. This cutting-edge technology provides pain relief without narcotics, which keeps you safe from the dangers associated with opioids.
Our neurostimulator treatment uses gentle electrical currents in short pulses to your nerves. Both the Arthritis Foundation and various studies have found that neurostimulation can be an effective treatment for chronic arthritis pain.
If you have pain, swelling, or inflammation in the joints of your ankles or feet, schedule an appointment at Alliance Foot & Ankle Specialists. Our doctors evaluate each patient from a tailored, individual perspective, and suggest treatment plans suited to your unique situation.
You can reach our office in Grapevine at 817-481-4000 or our office in Keller at 817-741-4800, and our staff will be happy to book your appointment.