Arthritis is a medical condition that causes joint inflammation, stiffness, swelling, and pain. There are many different types of arthritis. Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease in which the immune system attacks otherwise healthy cells in the joints. Osteoarthritis, which is associated with aging, occurs due to wear and tear on the joints and their lining over time. Gout is another form of arthritis and is caused by a buildup of uric acid in the blood.
While arthritis can affect any joints in your body, it often affects the small joints of the feet, toes, and ankles. Symptoms of arthritis in the feet include joint pain, tenderness, swelling, stiffness, and warmth. It may be difficult to move the affected joints, which can make walking or bearing weight more difficult.
Arthritis is a chronic condition. There are several different types of arthritis, and every individual case is unique. For some people, arthritis symptoms tend to get worse over time as the affected joints degenerate. For others, symptoms may come and go. You may be able to slow the progression of arthritis through lifestyle changes and following specific treatment plans.
There are a variety of treatments available for foot and ankle arthritis. The typical goals of arthritis treatment are to slow the progression of the arthritis, manage symptoms, and maintain overall quality of life. Maintaining a healthy weight, exercising regularly, and wearing orthotics can be helpful. Taking anti-inflammatory medications can help reduce joint pain. In severe, advanced cases of arthritis, surgery may help restore function to damaged joints.
Exercise is great for arthritis. People with foot and ankle arthritis should focus on increasing the strength and flexibility of their lower limbs. This will help maintain mobility and range of motion. Walking, aquatic exercises, gentle stretches, and yoga are all activities that those with arthritis can benefit from.