Arthritis is characterized by inflammation of the lining and cartilage of a joint. When a joint becomes inflamed, it can cause swelling, pain, redness, and warmth. It is estimated there are presently around 40 million people suffering from arthritis in the US. Typically, arthritis targets those over 50 years of age, but arthritis does not discriminate and younger people can suffer as well.
Foot Arthritis Starts When You are Younger
Around half of the adults over 60 experience arthritis foot pain. However, the wearing down of the joints in the feet start around 40 years of age. Typically this wearing down of the cartilage in the joints of the feet is due to overuse. Most people notice swelling and pain in the feet as the cartilage can no longer protect bones from rubbing together.
Causes of Foot Arthritis
Arthritis can have several causes and heredity is the main one. The symptoms of arthritis can develop due to a wide variety of factors. Simple overuse can be behind the development of arthritis in the feet and ankles but it can also be the result of viral and bacterial infections, various types of drugs, both prescribed and illegal, or a traumatic injury.
Relieving the Pain Caused by Foot Arthritis
If you suspect you have arthritis in your feet and ankles, it is important to seek out the help of a foot and ankle specialist. They can give you a proper diagnosis and help develop a treatment plan to care for your feet properly. Some of the ways you can relieve the pain of arthritis in your feet includes:
- Wearing comfortable fitting shoes
- Get a foot massage
- Stretch out the Achilles tendon
- Wearing orthopedics
- Using topical treatments
- Doctor recommended OTC pain medications
Having Foot Surgery
In some cases, a podiatrist may suggest foot surgery for treating arthritic pain. This is typically only done as a last resort when other forms of treatment offer no pain relief. Joint fusions and joint replacements are options a foot and ankle specialist might recommend. Joint fusions help in cases where arthritis is caused by too much movement in the joints; joint replacements are usually considered when the joint does not move enough.
No matter what your age, if you suspect you have developed arthritis of the foot or ankle, contact Dr. Richard Nichols. He can diagnosis foot arthritis and offer a variety of treatment options.