Arthritis is the painful inflammation and stiffness of the joints. Although we might most commonly associate arthritis with our hands, with 28 bones and more than 30 joints in the foot, arthritis can also plague those extremities, too. Arthritis can affect people of any age, so if you are experiencing inexplicable pain in your feet, it's important for you to see a podiatrist as soon as possible since the damage could become irreversible if left untreated. The sooner you address arthritic pain, the better you'll be able to manage the pain and remain active.
If you have foot pain, call New Orleans Podiatry Associates today, and we can help keep you jogging on the St. Charles Avenue neutral ground, walking on the levees along Lake Pontchartrain, and marching in that next Mardi Gras parade.
Causes of Arthritis
- Aging--unfortunate but true
- Inflammatory disease in which the body's immune system attacks and destroys cartilage, the connective tissue on the surfaces of the joints (Although there is some genetic basis for the disease, usually an external trigger such as an infection or an environmental factor is needed to put the relevant genes to work.)
- Injuries, especially dislocations and fractures
Symptoms of Arthritis
- Pain or tenderness
- Walking difficulty due to any of the above symptoms
Credit: James Heilman, M.D.
Treatments for Arthritis
- Custom-made orthotics--NOPA offers more than 150 unique possibilities
- Diet adjustment, with a focus on weight reduction
- Medication such as anti-inflammatory drugs or steroid injections (Note: Please consult your physician before taking any medication.)
- Physical therapy and exercises
- Surgery for the most serious cases
The best ways to reduce your chances of suffering pain are to buy comfortable, properly fitting shoes and to do exercises that keep your feet strong and flexible.