May is National Arthritis Awareness Month, which is the perfect opportunity to learn about the leading cause of disability and condition that affects over 50 million adults in the United States each year. Arthritis is actually a word used to describe the many types of joint pain and diseases that exist. Since the foot has over 30 joints and supports the body’s entire weight, it is a common area for arthritis to develop.
When gradual degeneration of the joints causes swelling, pain, and stiffness, it is referred to as osteoarthritis. It is the most common form of arthritis and is usually seen in older patients whose cartilage between bones can become worn or torn to cause bones to rub against each other. For mild osteoarthritis, maintaining a healthy weight, strengthening surrounding muscles through exercise and physical therapy, as well as avoiding repetitive movements can help ease discomfort and pain.
This inflammatory type of arthritis is an autoimmune disease that mistakenly attacks the joints to cause chronic inflammation. Joints can degenerate and cause pain and stiffness. Since it is an aggressive form of arthritis, early detection and treatment is essential in preventing further joint damage. Working closely with a rheumatologist is recommended for developing a treatment plan. In addition to rest, icing, massages and foot soaks, inserting custom orthotics in shoes can also help alleviate some of the joint pain.
No matter what type of arthritis you may have, it is important to consult with a skilled podiatrist to ensure the most effective treatment plan. At Podiatry Center of New Jersey, Dr. Russell Samofal is a board-certified podiatrist who has seen countless patients for joint pain and diseases, as well as other foot and ankle issues like heel pain, bunions, diabetic foot problems, and sports injuries. Not only are Dr. Samofal and his staff committed to the foot health of each individual patient, but they are also equipped with state-of-the-art technologies to help diagnose and treat all podiatric issues. Call our office in Wayne, NJ at (973) 925-4111 to schedule an appointment today!