Arthritis In Feet
In the simplest terms, arthritis of the foot is the swelling and inflammation of the joints in the foot and ankle. Swelling of the feet as well as foot pain is typical of arthritic conditions and arthritis in your ankles or feet can cause excruciating pain. Arthritis has no cure but you can find relief from the symptoms by seeking treatment from the best podiatrist in NYC.
There are several different types of arthritis that can affect your feet, such as:
- Gouty Arthritis
- Rheumatoid Arthritis
- Infectious Arthritis
- Metabolic Arthritis
- Psoriatic Arthritis
Each variety has different causes and treatments. The most common forms are osteoarthritis, gouty arthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. These are described in more detail 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 serious underlying condition.
This is the most common arthritis you can get in your feet. It’s nearly universal among people over age 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 this condition is common in older people it can also affect those much younger in age, usually after some sort of trauma. It also occurs in families with hereditary joint defects so it’s helpful to your foot doctor 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 podiatrists rely heavily on your reporting any of these symptoms and your family history for a firm diagnosis of osteoarthritis. Surgery is an option when all other treatments have been exhausted.
Your podiatric doctor in NYC will choose the treatment that best accommodates your lifestyle and overall health. This trained foot specialist wants to achieve four basic goals:
- Alleviate your pain
- Improve your joint mobility
- Encourage you to maintain a healthy weight
- Encourage you to live a healthy lifestyle
The best podiatrist in NYC will implement a comprehensive treatment plan including the following:
- Both medicinal and non-medicinal treatments for pain relief
- Sufficient rest for the afflicted joints
- Weight reduction when indicated
- Surgery when indicated
Until the age of 55, both men and women have about the same incidence of osteoarthritis. 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 of developing osteoarthritis.
Gout is the result of excessive uric acid in your joints. When the level of uric acid is too high, it crystallizes in your joints — most commonly your big toe — and causes excruciating pain. While it can occur anywhere in the body, it’s often associated with the feet. Your podiatrist can explain the causes of this type of arthritis and manage the symptoms for you. Your foot doctor treats gout in your feet by relying primarily on rest, diet and medication.
Foot specialists note that the condition is most common in middle-aged, overweight men, though postmenopausal women can also suffer from it.
Rheumatoid arthritis is a form of inflammatory arthritis. Symptoms can range from mild discomfort to drastic joint deformity. In the most serious cases, rheumatoid arthritis can damage your joints and cause severe deformities. It’s a painful and crippling condition that needs to be under regular treatment by a foot doctor.
With this condition, your joints feel sore, stiff and swollen.The pain and inflammation may come and go. Podiatrists have noted that the condition affects your body symmetrically. So, for example, both feet suffer the same symptoms simultaneously. 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 more supple through the increased blood circulation that results from massage.
- Alternating warm and cold foot baths: Your podiatrist may recommend warm foot baths to help your foot circulation and cold foot baths to decrease your swelling.
- Custom shoes: Most foot doctors recommend avoiding high heels and using more comfortable, supportive shoes. Rocker shoes can help when rheumatoid arthritis limits your ankle movement.
- Orthotics:These shoe inserts are designed to make walking and standing less painful. Your podiatric doctor can prescribe them to relieve pressure on your feet.
- Steroid Injections: Foot specialists use this treatment to reduce swelling and inflammation. It is highly effective but cannot be used regularly as overuse can lead to soft tissue damage.
Considering Surgical Options
Podiatry doctors construct an individualized treatment plan for you based on your specific history and symptoms. Factors such as age, health, and lifestyle dictate whether your podiatrist will resort to surgery.
The best podiatrist NYC opts for surgery only as a final resort. Foot specialists may also choose a surgical option if they believe it can improve your joint and 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 definitive medical advice. Please consult your 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. Sophia Solomon of Manhattan Foot Specialists? Please contact our office for a consultation.
Dr. Sophia Solomon, Podiatrist (NYC Foot Doctor)
New York, NY 10010
(Between Madison Ave & Park Ave)
☎ (212) 389-9918