Posts for tag: arthritis
Arthritis is a joint condition that affects roughly 54 million American adults according to the Arthritis Foundation. It can show up in joints all around the body, including the feet and toes. When the joints of the feet are affected by inflammation, it affects a patient’s ability to move their toes, bend their feet up or down, and turn on a dime when participating in athletic activities. Learn the steps that you can take to care for arthritic feet and improve your overall foot health.
Arthritis in the Feet
Arthritic joint pain, which is usually caused by an inflammatory reaction, is most commonly felt in the big toe, ankle, and the middle part of the foot. There are many different types of arthritis conditions that could affect the feet, including psoriatic, reactive, and rheumatoid arthritis. Osteoarthritis is the most common form—it is caused by the bones rubbing together, making the joints feel stiff and painful. Patients who are overweight are more likely to struggle with arthritic feet, as are seniors. Some people have had arthritis since childhood (juvenile arthritis or JA), making them more likely to develop foot deformities like bunions and struggle with swollen joints.
Though arthritis isn’t a curable condition, the symptoms can be eased with treatment so that you can continue to walk, jog, exercise, and work without debilitating pain. These are some of the ways your podiatrist may treat arthritis in the feet:
- An X-ray or other imaging test to examine the condition of the joints.
- Physical therapy exercises to make the joints more flexible.
- Orthotic device or shoe for better foot support.
- Joint injections (corticosteroids).
- NSAID drugs (anti-inflammatories).
- Surgery to remove inflamed tissue around the joints (Arthroscopic debridement) or fuse the bones (arthrodesis).
Caring for Your Feet
Seeing a foot doctor is an important part of caring for arthritic feet. But there are also some actions you can take at home to keep your feet and joints in good condition:
- Get rid of shoes that put too much pressure on your joints, like high heels or sneakers that don’t support the ankles.
- Soak your feet in warm water with Epsom salt and massage your feet when relaxing.
- Commit to doing the toe and foot exercises suggested by your podiatrist.
Treating Arthritic Feet
Arthritic feet shouldn't prevent you from carrying on with normal life and physical activities. Get help from a podiatrist as soon as you start to experience symptoms and take extra steps to care for your feet.
“Oh, my aching feet!” How many times have you found yourself yelling, “Oh, my aching feet,” but then shrugged it off, figuring that aching feet are a natural part of life? You don’t have to put up with aching feet. Your podiatrist in Sammamish urges you to not ignore that ache in your feet. When pain occurs, it is the first sign that something isn’t right, so a trip to Howard Schaengold, DPM is in order.
Gout is a form of arthritis, and it can often cause extreme pain to your feet. Approximately one million Americans suffer from gout, and although its source is a systemic problem within the body, there are some suggestions for how to treat gout that may help reduce your chance of having a gout flare-up.
Diagnosis and Treatment
Because the joint inflammation of gout can resemble that of a joint infection or other form of arthritis, diagnosing gout requires removing a small amount of fluid from the joint and examining it for uric acid crystals. Once diagnosis is made, your podiatrist in Sammamish can recommend a gout treatment plan to help:
- Stop acute attacks
- Rapidly relieve pain and inflammation
- Avert future attacks
- Prevent the development of tophi, kidney stones and kidney disease
Gout treatment will most likely involve anti-inflammatory medications to relieve acute pain and inflammation, as well as urate-lowering drugs to control urate levels and prevent future attacks.
Other gout treatment strategies might include the following:
- Avoid foods with high purines, such as organ meats, anchovies, shellfish, bacon and gravies, and increasing intake of dairy foods.
- Avoid alcohol, which increases the production of urate and impairs excretion
- Lose weight to reduce blood urate levels
- Avoid medications that contribute to hyperuricema, including diuretics
With proper treatment by Dr. Howard Schaengold of Plateau Foot & Ankle Clinic, gout is one of the most controllable forms of arthritis. So when pain occurs, don’t just deal with it, seek treatment immediately.
Heel pain is one of the leading problems that cause patients to visit their podiatrist, and it’s no wonder. The relentless ache in the bottom of your foot or the sharp pain as you step out of bed in the morning is often enough to persuade even the most stubborn patient to make an appointment with his or her podiatrist.
Because there are many potential causes of heel pain, such as a stress fracture, tendonitis, nerve damage or arthritis, it’s important to have your foot examined by a podiatrist with expert training in heel pain. Howard Schaengold, DPM will examine your foot, determine the underlying source of your heel pain, assess your symptoms, make a proper diagnosis and recommend a treatment plan based on your individual case. Early diagnosis and treatment can help prevent more serious problems.
Plantar fasciitis is the most common cause of heel pain, occurring when the thick band of tissue (plantar fascia) that connects the heel to the toes becomes irritated and inflamed. When the plantar fascia is strained over time beyond its normal extension, tissues of the fascia may tear or stretch, which leads to pain.
Faulty foot structures, such as flat feet or high arches are common causes of plantar fasciitis. Non-supportive shoes and increased weight or strain may aggravate the condition as well.
Common symptoms of plantar fasciitis include:
- Bottom of the heel pain
- Pain that intensifies after sitting for extended periods of time and subsides after a few minutes of walking
- Pain that worsens over a period of months
Most types of heel pain, once properly diagnosed, can be successfully treated with conservative measures, such as use of anti-inflammatory medications and ice, rest, stretching exercises, orthotic devices, footwear modifications, and physical therapy. The longer heel pain is allowed to progress, the longer treatment can take. When plantar fasciitis doesn’t respond to conservative care, your podiatrist may recommend surgery as a last resort. Always seek care from our Sammamish office for heel pain in its earliest stages for proper treatment.