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When to See a Specialist About Joint Pain

Your feet are marvelously complex, with more than 30 joints in each one, and your ankle is a surprisingly strong joint. If you have pain in those joints, you may be simply living with it, assuming it’s just part of getting older or a result of standing. However, there are some instances when you should see a doctor; your pain may be the result of a treatable condition, or it may be a symptom of a condition that could eventually impact the function of your feet or ankles. 

Dr. Joseph Harvey and Dr. Richard Nichols at Alliance Foot & Ankle Specialists are experts in the function of feet and ankles.  They can help guide you through the causes of joint pain, the treatments available, and the dangers of not getting treatment. 

What causes joint pain? 

Lots of different conditions can cause joint pain, although most people immediately think of arthritis. Arthritis is, by definition, joint pain, but it isn’t a single condition. In fact, there are more than 100 separate types of arthritis! 

Some of those types of arthritis do commonly affect the joints of your feet. Because arthritis damages your joints, it’s important to seek medical care from a specialist if you’re having joint pain. 

There are other causes of joint pain in your ankles and feet, too, so don’t automatically assume your problem is some type of arthritis. You might have bunions, bone spurs, or a stress fracture. When you come to Alliance Foot & Ankle Specialists, you won’t have to wonder why your joints hurt — we’ll perform a thorough exam, necessary diagnostic tests, and explain the reason for your pain, as well as your treatment options. 

When to see a podiatrist

If the joints in your feet or your ankles hurt, and don’t seem to be getting better or the pain goes away and comes back, you should consider booking an appointment to see Dr. Harvey or Dr. Nichols. Be especially aware of any the following issues: 

Swelling, redness, or warmth

Swelling, redness, and a warm feeling around your joint are all signs of inflammation. Inflammation is your body’s response to injury, but over time, it can do serious damage. If the joints of your feet or your ankles appear inflamed, it’s time to see a specialist. 

Pain with activity

If your pain flares up when you’re active, you should seek care. Often, arthritis pain develops slowly over time, but if your joints hurt when you engage in vigorous activity, you may be noticing an early sign. 

Worse pain in the morning or after resting

If your joint pain is worse in the morning, or especially bad after you’ve been sitting for some time, you should see a specialist. 

Stiffness 

One of the common symptoms of arthritis is joint stiffness. If you find it’s sometimes difficult to move the joints that hurt, or you notice a clicking sound, you may be seeing early signs of arthritis. 

Inability to go about your day

Does your pain cause you to avoid doing things that you’d otherwise do? Are you finding it difficult to do your normal, day-to-day activities? 

Joint pain in your feet or ankles can make it difficult to walk, climb stairs, or even to stand comfortably. If you’re modifying your life to lessen the pain, book an appointment at Alliance Foot & Ankle Specialists. There are treatments that may help! 

Treating joint pain

The best treatment for your joint pain depends on the underlying cause of your pain. For example, if you have a bunion, the most appropriate treatment will be significantly different than if you have gout, which is a form of arthritis. 

One treatment that many of our patients find useful in dealing with pain is our implantable neurostimulator, which uses gentle electrical currents to block pain signals. If you’re looking for a non-pharmaceutical treatment for your pain, talk to us about neurostimulation. 

Don’t let your joint pain get the best of you! Schedule an appointment today at Alliance Foot & Ankle Specialists. Call our Grapevine or Keller locations, and we’ll be happy to schedule your visit. 

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