Arthritis is the name given to a variety of conditions that erode the lining of your joints, causing inflammation and pain as bones rub against each other. While arthritic conditions eventually affect the back, neck, hips, and knees, it is frequently first diagnosed in the hands, feet, and ankles. See your foot doctor at the first indication of pain and stiffness to start treatment and help reduce some of the complications and damage.
Common types of arthritis include:
- Rheumatoid arthritis—When the lining that cushions your joints is mistaken for an intruder and is subsequently attacked by your immune system, the result is rheumatoid arthritis. This type of arthritis is aggressive and early treatment can help mitigate some of the pain and stiffness. Custom orthotic shoe inserts can decrease arthritis symptoms by redistributing pressure. Resting, icing, and massaging are also helpful.
- Osteoarthritis—This is age-related arthritis that causes the breakdown of the cartilage cushioning your joints. As the lining deteriorates, bones can start rubbing directly against each other causing swelling, stiffness, and severe pain. Reducing your weight if you are obese will take some of the pressure off the joints in the feet and ankles. Physical therapy exercises will increase strength and flexibility and also help prevent falls.
Other causes of stiffness in the toes and ankles include gout and psoriatic arthritis.
If you are suffering from foot and ankle arthritis, contact your podiatrist for the best care. At Podiatry Center of New Jersey, Dr. Russell Samofal treats a variety of conditions such as sports injuries, diabetic foot problems, pediatric foot conditions, toe deformities, arthritis, nail fungus, arch problems and heel pain. Equipped with advanced technologies and a dedicated staff, Podiatry Center of New Jersey provides individualized high-quality care for patients all across Morris, Passaic, Bergen and Essex counties. For all your foot and ankle problems, contact our Wayne office at (973) 925-4111 for an appointment.