How Does Arthritis Affect My Feet?

Arthritis is the leading cause of disability in the US, estimated to affect over 54 million people. There are many types of arthritis, and they can affect your feet and ability to walk comfortably. If you or a loved one have recently been diagnosed with arthritis and are curious how it could affect your feet, we are here to help. Best Foot Doctor in the NYC area is a podiatrist office with years of experience. If you have further questions after reading this article, please get in touch with us, and we’d be happy to help you further.

What Is Arthritis?

There are over 100 types of arthritis, and many forms are treatable, although a cure has not been found for this condition. Feet and ankles are particularly susceptible to this condition because of the weight and pressure of walking and normal daily activities. Some of the most common forms of arthritis are:

  • Osteoarthritis

You can recognize this type of arthritis from its symptoms of tenderness, pain, and stiffness that gradually develop over time in joints that see constant use. 

  • Post-Traumatic Arthritis

If you have previously sustained an injury to your foot or ankle joints, arthritis can set in, causing pain and swelling. Fluid may accumulate in your joints, aggravating the condition. You may find yourself losing the ability to walk or place weight on the joints.

  • Rheumatoid Arthritis

Unlike other types of arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis is not caused by injury or use. Instead, this condition is an autoimmune disease that attacks the bones and joints. It can be intensely painful, and you may notice heat and swelling in the affected areas. In addition, rheumatoid arthritis can cause joints to swell and stiffness, rendering them unable to move. This form of arthritis can also cause fevers and fatigue, similar to other autoimmune diseases. While there is no cure for this condition, treatment may include over-the-counter pain medication and exercises to keep joints flexible, among other doctor-prescribed treatments.

How Is Arthritis in Feet and Ankles Treated?

While arthritis can affect any joint in the body, it often finds rest in the feet and ankle bones due to their constant use. The weight of daily walking and exercise will aggravate arthritis, increasing pain and other symptoms.

Some common treatments for arthritis in your feet and ankles include the following five options.

Physical Therapy

Because joints that suffer from arthritis tend to stiffen over time, physical therapy can help keep the joints mobile and flexible, extending their use.

Modifying Your Lifestyle

The best options for slowing the progression of arthritis include:

  • Lifestyle changes like losing weight (to reduce the pressure on the foot and ankle joints).
  • Choosing low-intensity exercises like swimming.
  • Reducing the activities that aggravate your condition.

Braces and Orthotics 

These devices can also help to cushion joints and reduce the intensity of pain and inflammation in your feet and ankles. Custom orthotics help to alleviate strain on your feet, ankles and legs.

If you are suffering from arthritis in your feet and ankles and would like to find help, the Best Foot Doctor offices in Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Queens are open. We provide a safe place to talk to a podiatrist about your concerns and find help to reduce pain and slow the progress of this disease.

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