The stiffness and pain you feel in your ankles and feet as you grow older (or after an injury) can be Osteoarthritis. If untreated, this niggling pain can become worse, and eventually might face difficulty in walking even short distances.
Severe Osteoarthritis can confine your mobility and limit the quality of life you want to live. To the good fortune of many, a proper treatment can slow down its progress (or permanently cure), and help you to live a more productive life.
What is osteoarthritis of foot and ankle?
Firstly, Arthritis is a medical term broadly used for a number of conditions that affects the functioning of a joint. It is the swelling of one or more joints, causing soreness and stiffness that can get worse with age.
There are several types of Arthritis and, the most common one is osteoarthritis. According to a report by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approx 27 millions of American are affected by osteoarthritis.
Add to that; it is one of the leading causes of disability in the United States of America. Osteoarthritis results from the “wear and tear” damage to joint cartilage (it is a soft tissue sandwiched between joint bones) that occurs with age.
Or, a traumatic injury such as moderate ankle sprain, broken bone, can leverage the injured joint to become Arthritis in future (even through proper medical care is received at the time of injury). Swelling, redness, and pain in the joint are some symptoms of osteoarthritis.
It may develop in your hands, hips, necks, back, or knees, but it is more rigorous in ankles and feet.
Six things you can do to counter foot Arthritis- before going to the doctor
Put your feet in hot or cold water
This is one of the most effective home remedies. When your feet are inflamed and aching from Arthritis, cold packs are a great and effectual way to numb swelling and reduce pain.
Plus, cold water is also the best immediate therapy for a joint injury. On the other hand, hot water can provide relief from aching feet.
Crutches and Canes
Does placing Weight on your foot cause sudden pain? Then, it is advisable to use a cane to walk; it might be for some days, months, years, or even lifetime depending on your condition and age.
Today, canes are available in several varieties to help people live a normal life; single tip canes are perfect if you have no difficulty in balancing.
On the contrary, quad, or four-point canes are doctors and therapist recommendation for people in their 60’s and 70’s. It is always good to consult your doctor before buying a rod to walk, as your Orthopaedic surgeon will better know whether you need it or not.
Crutches are best for fractures, and particularly painful foot problems; they are mostly used for a short time to take more weight off of your foot. Have a word with your Orthopaedic specialist about how – and how long – to use crutches.
High heels that thrust the foot forward or shoes that cramp the toes may lead to foot problems in future. Conversely, low heels, broad toe box, and ample arch support can help you ease the pain.
Massages are known to provide relief to people from their chronic pain for some time (not a permanent solution). Nothing feels quite like a soothing foot rub; massaging the feet can improve blood circulation, relieve pain and reduce tension.
You can visit a spa in your vicinity for such services, ask your loved ones or the best option, or massage your own feet
Today, medical science and technology have united to give relief to people suffering from foot Arthritis by providing them innovative gadgets and devices.
Orthotic devices such as heel inserts and foot pads can be easily purchased from a local pharmacy shop, or through an e-commerce store.
These devices are often helpful for people suffering from following foot problem: Plantar fasciitis hammer toe or claw toe, bunions, heel pain, and Morton’s neuroma.
Oil and location
Pour a medicated oil or lotion in your hands, and gently rub on your foot like massaging. Do this regular before the bedtime, and you will surely get some relief from pain, and achieve a better sleep.
Treatment of Osteoarthritis of Foot and Ankle
Orthopedic surgeons, those who specialize in the surgical and non-surgical treatment of ankle and foot problem can diagnose and cure your Arthritis.
If your orthopedic doctor suspects you have Arthritis of ankle and foot, then he or she will ask you to undergo a physical examination and reveal your medical history. Laboratory and X-ray analysis often confirm the type and extent of the problem.
Other tests such as Computed tomography, bone scan, or MRI might be used to evaluate your condition.
Once your doctor confirms you have Osteoarthritis, he or she will suggest a treatment regime, which may include anti- inflammatory mouth medications, physic therapy, steroid injections, and loss weight.
Your orthopedic surgeon may ask you to slot in orthotics pads in your shoes, or custom-made braces.
Surgery may become necessary if your Osteoarthritis has reached its peak. Osteoarthritis surgery eliminates the painful motion of the joint, replacing the joint with an artificial arrangement, or cleaning the arthritis joint.
Or, a combination of the above three procedures to treat your Osteoarthritis!
After going under the knife, there is a recovery period associated with it; when have to take certain precautions like wearing special comfortable shoes or braces.
Keep in mind, if you have any doubt about the need for a test, risks or benefits of your procedure ask your orthopedic doctor.
You might often be suggested to live with Osteoarthritis, as it is not a life-threatening problem and pain can be managed through the regular intake of pain-killers or supplements such as Flexadrene.
However, this is not the way you should go about this problem; seek treatment for arthritis as soon as possible to cure and reduce damage to joints. Otherwise, the consequences can go worse “permanent disability”.