Arthritis affects the functioning of your joints by causing a deterioration of the cartilage that keeps your bones from directly rubbing against each other. While the effects will occur throughout your body, the hands, feet, and ankles are often where the discomfort and pain first appear. Seeing your foot doctor at the first sign of arthritis symptoms in your feet and ankles can help mitigate future complications.

2 common types of arthritis that affect the feet and ankles include:

1)    Osteoarthritis—is the breakdown of the cartilage that cushions your joints that unfortunately tends to happen as you get older. As the protective cartilage gradually reduces, friction between bones increases causing severe pain, swelling and joint stiffness. Losing weight if you are overweight can help take off some of the pressure on the joints. Physical therapy to increase strength and flexibility is also helpful.

2)    Rheumatoid arthritis (RA)—this type of arthritis can cause rapid deterioration of the cartilage. Your immune system misidentifies the cartilage as something that needs to be removed from the body. Early treatment is essential to help avoid chronic joint pain and immobility. The use of orthotic shoe inserts can help redirect pressure from arthritic joints, thereby decreasing pain and swelling.

If you are suffering from foot and ankle arthritis, contact your podiatrist for the proper diagnosis and treatment. Dr. Scott Nelson of Foot and Ankle Medical Clinic in Garland, TX, is a board-certified and highly experienced podiatrist who has helped people suffering from all types of foot and ankle injuries and deformities. From bunions to diabetic foot problems, sports injuries and fungal nails, you can trust that Dr. Nelson and his staff are wholeheartedly devoted to your foot health. Please contact our office with any questions you may have or to schedule an appointment by calling 972-414-9800.

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