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Arthritis of the Foot and Ankle

May 24, 2016

Arthritis of the foot and ankle is a debilitating condition that can limit patient mobility and decrease patient quality of life. Whether you currently suffer from arthritis or simply believe that you are at risk for this condition, there are many things that you can do to increase your comfort and slow the onset of the disease.

Arthritis of the Foot and Ankle

Arthritis is a condition that causes inflammation, pain, and stiffness of the joints. This is a common problem in the foot and ankle, which can make it difficult to walk, run, ride a bike and move around normally.

Ankle Arthritis

Who is At Risk

Although anyone can get arthritis, some people are more at risk than others. People at particular risk to get arthritis include:

  • People who have suffered an injury of the joint in the past
  • People who are overweight
  • Anyone who has a family history of arthritis
  • Seniors

Preventative Care

There is no way to truly prevent the onset of foot and ankle arthritis–or arthritis in any location of the body, for that matter. However, there are ways that you can reduce your risk and delay the onset of arthritis. These methods include:

  • Don’t smoke. Smoking puts people at greater risk for rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Eat a healthy diet. Eating a healthy diet low in sugar and alcohol can help prevent gout.
  • See a podiatrist if you suffer a foot or ankle injury. Seeing a podiatrist if you suffer a foot or ankle injury can help you heal properly and avoid complications that can lead to arthritis.

Pain Relief

While arthritis of the foot and ankle has no cure, there are many ways to manage the pain from this condition, including:

  • Switching from high impact to low impact exercise. Exercise is good for people with arthritis, but high impact exercise (like jogging) can cause arthritis pain. Switching to a low impact exercise like biking or swimming can help patients stay active while reducing pain in the feet and ankles.
  • Physical therapy. During physical therapy, patients learn to perform stretches and exercises that can improve range of motion and reduce pressure on the joint.
  • Weight loss. After the onset of arthritis, obesity can make the pain from arthritis much worse. Proper weight management can help reduce pain and improve the patient’s mobility.
  • Assistive devices. Walking sticks can help reduce pressure on the joints by enabling patients to disperse their weight.
  • Medication. Anti-inflammatory medications can increase patient comfort.
  • Surgery. In some extreme cases, surgery is necessary to help patients continue to walk and move normally.

If you suffer from arthritis of the foot and ankle, or if you believe that you are at risk for this condition, see a podiatrist for assistance. At Anchorage Foot and Ankle Clinic, Dr. Kaufman treats this condition regularly through a mixture of techniques like physical therapy, nutritional counseling, medications and more. Contact us today to make an appointment.


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