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Arthritis In Feet

Arthritis In Feet Specialist NYCIn the simplest terms, arthritis is the swelling and inflammation of a joint. Often, this inflammation is associated with an increase in fluid, which promotes the swelling feet and causes foot pain in the area. Arthritis in your ankles or feet can cause excruciating pain, but you can find relief by seeking treatment from the best podiatrist in NYC.

Arthritis has no cure, but its symptoms — including the pain — can be controlled. There are several different types of arthritis that can affect your feet, such as:

  • Osteoarthritis
  • Gouty arthritis
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Infectious arthritis
  • Metabolic arthritis

Each variety has different causes and treatments. The most common forms are osteoarthritis, gouty arthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. These are described below.

All symptoms should always be evaluated with a thorough consultation and examination by your podiatrist for an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan to exclude any underlying serious condition.

Osteoarthritis

This is the most common arthritis you can get in your feet. It’s nearly universal in some form in anyone over the age of 60. Your NYC podiatrist may refer to it as “degenerative arthritis” or “wear and tear arthritis.”

The condition is caused by the wearing away of cartilage in the joints of your foot. Cartilage is a smooth coating between bones, and its absence can result from an injury or simply from prolonged use. Inflammation, pain, and stiffness are the primary symptoms. While the condition is considered a natural part of aging, lifestyle adjustments can alleviate the risk of developing the condition, as well as regulating its severity.

Osteoarthritis Symptoms and Diagnosis

Although the condition is prevalent in older people, it can also afflict those much younger in age. This usually occurs after some sort of trauma. Osteoarthritis tends to be more prevalent in families with hereditary joint defects, so it’s helpful to know if your siblings, parents or grandparents have suffered arthritis. Symptoms include:

  • Tender joints
  • Gnawing pain
  • Stiffness in the morning
  • Limited range of motion

Besides performing a physical exam, the best NYC podiatrist relies heavily on your family history for a firm diagnosis of osteoarthritis. Share your family’s history so your foot doctor can design a treatment plan for you. Surgery is rarely an option.

Treating Osteoarthritis

Until the age of 55, both men and women have about the same incidence of the disease. After that, it tends to appear more in women. Foot specialists have observed that anyone with a sports-related injury — such as ligament tears, joint dislocations or torn cartilage — are at a much higher risk later in life for osteoarthritis.

Your podiatric doctor in NYC generally has more than one treatment option, but chooses the one that best accommodates your lifestyle and overall health. A trained foot specialist wants to achieve four basic goals:

  • Alleviate your pain
  • Improve your joint mobility
  • Get you to maintain a healthy weight
  • Encourage you to live a healthy lifestyle

The best podiatrists in NYC implement a comprehensive treatment plan with all of the following:

  • Exercise
  • Weight reduction
  • Sufficient rest for the afflicted joints
  • Both medicinal and non-medicinal treatments for pain relief
  • Alternative therapies
  • Surgery (rarely)

Gouty Arthritis

Gout is the result of excessive uric acid in your joints. While it can occur anywhere in the body, it’s often associated with the feet. The podiatrists explain that uric acid is a waste product in your blood that’s usually excreted in your urine after passing through your kidneys.

When the level of uric acid is too high, it crystallizes in your joints — most commonly your big toe — and causes excruciating pain. It can damage the kidneys over time. Foot specialists note that the condition is most common in middle-aged, overweight men, though postmenopausal women can also suffer from it.

The uric acid level is driven higher by a diet high in purine-rich foods. Diuretics, blood pressure medicine, and aspirin can make the condition worse. Your foot doctor treats gout in your feet by relying primarily on rest, diet and medication.

Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis is a form of inflammatory arthritis. foot doctors have long considered this condition to be a disease that’s integrated with the rest of your body. Symptoms can range from mild discomfort to drastic joint deformity. In the most serious cases, rheumatoid arthritis can damage your joints. It’s a painful and crippling condition.

The condition is often sporadic. The podiatrists have shown that the condition affects your body symmetrically. So, for example, both feet suffer symptoms simultaneously. With this condition, your joints feel sore, stiff and swollen. Although the condition afflicts both sexes, females have a much higher incidence of the disease.

Treating Rheumatoid Arthritis

Your NYC foot doctor can use both surgical and non-surgical treatments for rheumatoid arthritis. Non-surgical treatments include:

  • Physical therapy: The best podiatrists understand that both stretching and strengthening the joints of your ankle and foot enhance the joint’s function. Not only does such treatment improve your flexibility, it helps prevent future deformity.
  • Foot massage: Podiatry doctors acknowledge that the foot’s tendons and other muscles become suppler through the increased blood circulation that results from massage.
  • Alternating warm and cold footbaths: Your podiatrist may recommend this to augment circulation from the warm water or to decrease swelling from the cold water.
  • Better shoes: Most foot doctors recommend avoiding high heels and using more comfortable, supportive shoes. Rocker shoes can help if rheumatoid arthritis has limited your ankle movement.
  • Orthotics: These shoe inserts are designed to make walking and standing less painful. The podiatric doctor prescribes them to relieve the pressure on the middle to front part of your foot.
  • Steroid Injections: Foot specialists use this treatment sparingly to reduce swelling and inflammation, since overuse can lead to soft tissue damage in your foot.

Considering Surgical Options

Factors such as age, health, and lifestyle dictate whether your podiatrist resorts to surgery. Most podiatry doctors construct an individualized treatment for you based on your specific history and condition.

The best podiatrist NYC opts for surgery only if you can’t walk without severe pain — or if shoes or braces can‘t accommodate your foot deformities. Foot specialists may also choose a surgical option if they believe the surgery can improve your joint enough to prevent future deformities. The foot specialist’s goal in surgery is to correct the existing deformity enough to relieve pain, improve ambulation, and increase your options for shoes.

All symptoms should always be evaluated with a thorough consultation and examination by your podiatrist for an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan to exclude any underlying serious condition.

Important Reminder: This information is only intended to provide guidance, not a definitive medical advice. Please consult foot doctor about your specific condition. Only a trained, experienced board certified podiatrist or foot specialist can determine an accurate diagnosis and proper treatment.

Do you have any questions about Arthritis? Would like to schedule an appointment with an internationally recognized, top NYC Podiatrist and foot doctor, Dr. Jennifer McCoy of Manhattan Foot Specialists, please contact our office for consultation.

Manhattan Foot Specialists
Dr. Jennifer McCoy, Podiatrist (NYC Foot Doctor)

51 East 25th Street, Ste 409
New York, NY 10010

(Between Madison Ave & Park Ave)
(212) 687-2930

DISCLAIMER: PLEASE READ CAREFULLY
The information on this website is to provide general guidance. In no way does any of the information provided reflect definitive medical advice and self diagnoses should not be made based on information obtained online. It is important to consult a best in class podiatrist regarding ANY and ALL symptoms or signs as it may a sign of a serious illness or condition. A thorough consultation and examination should ALWAYS be performed for an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan. Be sure to call a physician or call our office today and schedule a consultation.