It’s that aching and stiffness deep in the joints. Sometimes you feel it in your bad ankle, or the toes you broke a while back. Other times it comes on gradually, slowly making movement more uncomfortable. Arthritis is that frequently lamented pain we associate with aging. Even if you haven’t experienced it yourself, chances are high that your parents, grandparents, or friends have—so you are familiar with what it looks like in someone’s life. Just because it is common, however, doesn’t mean it is “normal” or that you can’t do anything to deal with the problem.
Arthritis is the general inflammation of the cartilage and bones in a joint. Often fluid can fill the affected area, causing swelling and pain. The spot becomes stiff and has trouble handling pressure or bending. The discomfort can make it difficult to walk. The term arthritis actually is quite broad; it can refer to a number of different irritations and can occur in anyone at any age.
The most common kind is osteoarthritis, which develops over time from wear and tear and generally affects people over 50. The cartilage grinds down and the bones can begin to rub together, causing pain. Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease; for reasons no one completely understands, your immune system begins attacking the cartilage capping your bones. This can cause crippling damage that changes the shape of your joints. Post-traumatic arthritis appears after an injury that damages the cartilage in some way. It is similar to osteoarthritis and generally occurs when you have repeated injuries. Other diseases can result in joint inflammation, too, like gout and psoriasis.
Dealing with the Grind
Arthritis is generally a chronic problem, but it can be treated with numerous noninvasive remedies to relieve the pain and help with joint flexibility. At Absolute Foot Care Specialists, your foot is examined carefully to determine the specific kind of irritation your body is experiencing. Diagnostic images, like X-rays or MRIs, may be needed for a clearer look at the joint. Once the problem has been determined, the doctors can work with you to develop a treatment plan that fits your lifestyle and pain level.
We may prescribe anti-inflammatory pain killers to reduce the swelling and help with the discomfort, lowering the pressure on the damaged tissues. Orthotics that support and cushion your feet help manage the friction and weight on the affected bones. Sometimes custom shoes that reduce joint bending with stiff or rocker soles can also help the bones avoid rubbing against each other. You may need braces to maintain your foot’s stability and reduce joint movement, or walking assistance like a cane if your foot cannot handle the weight of your steps. If the pain is still severe, direct injections of medicine could reduce the swelling.
When It Doesn’t Respond Well
Sometimes arthritis doesn’t seem to be responding to conservative treatments and still causes significant pain. Though considered a last resort, in some cases, surgery to treat the joint directly may be needed. How that happens, however, depends on your specific kind of arthritis, your health, the severity of the disease, and the recommendation of Dr. Noah Levime. The procedures can range from fusing the bones together to replacing the joint with artificial pieces, depending on your needs.
Arthritis is a painful disease that affects everyone differently. For some, it may be nothing but an uncomfortable but livable irritant. For others, however, it can be debilitating, ruining their joints and decreasing their quality of life. However, it doesn’t have to control you. If you are experiencing joint pain, don’t ignore it now only for it to become crippling later. Contact Absolute Foot Care Specialists in Las Vegas for more information or an appointment to deal with your discomfort and reclaim your mobility. You can reach us through the website’s contact page or by calling (702) 839- 2010.