Many people struggle with the everyday aches and pains associated with arthritis of their foot and ankle. The feet are more susceptible to arthritis than other parts of the body because each foot has 33 joints that are subjected to the body’s weight bearing load. Arthritic feet can be painful and result in a loss of mobility and independence, and poorer quality of life. In some instances it can be crippling. Although there is no cure for arthritis there are many treatment options to bring it into control or remission. Early detection and treatment can help to slow its progression. If you are suffering from this condition, it may be time to step ahead of arthritis by pursuing treatment.
There are several different types of arthritis, and while not all affect only the geriatric population, the symptoms are often remarkably similar. Arthritis most often results from a breakdown or degeneration of cartilage within a joint that causes inflammation and pain, and eventually the formation of exostoses (ex·os·to·sis) or bone spurs that the body produces in order to restrict the joint from moving. This often is counterproductive as the spurring becomes a source of pain in its own right, often compressing on nearby bursal sacs or nerves. Clinically, this commonly presents with stiffness and pain that is immediately painful during the initiation of weight bearing, and improves after the patient has walked a while. It can also flare during the night, or during changes in barometric pressure, such as weather fronts. While all forms of arthritis have similar clinical manifestations, a specific diagnosis is important in order to formulate an optimal management plan. Read More!