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Arthritic Foot Care in Ann Arbor, MI

Arthritic Foot Care

Arthritis refers to inflammation of one or more joints, leading to pain and stiffness in the affected area. The foot and ankle, particularly the small joints, are susceptible to various forms of arthritis.

The most common type of arthritis affecting the foot and ankle is osteoarthritis, a result of age-related wear and tear on the cartilage within the joints. Past injuries, such as fractures or sprains, can also increase the risk of developing post-traumatic arthritis. Obesity puts additional stress on the weight-bearing joints of the foot and ankle, further contributing to the development of arthritis. Genetics and footwear choices, particularly wearing shoes that lack proper support for extended periods, can also play a role.

Symptoms of foot and ankle arthritis include pain, especially during activity; stiffness particularly noticeable in the mornings or after periods of inactivity; swelling, redness, or warmth around the affected joint; clicking or popping sounds when moving the joint; and difficulty walking. While there is no cure for arthritis, there are ways to manage the symptoms, and Arthritic Foot Care can improve quality of life.

Additional Reading

Supportive footwear with good arch support, cushioning, and shock absorption can significantly improve comfort and function. Maintaining a healthy weight reduces stress on the joints. Physical therapy exercises can strengthen muscles, improve flexibility, and reduce pain. Applying heat or ice packs to the affected joint can also help manage pain and inflammation. Over-the-counter pain relievers or anti-inflammatory medications may be recommended by a podiatrist for further pain relief.

Consulting a podiatrist is crucial for a proper diagnosis and personalized treatment plan. A podiatrist, a foot and ankle specialist, can assess your specific condition, recommend appropriate footwear or orthotics, and develop a management strategy to optimize your mobility and minimize discomfort. For some of the best Arthritic Foot Care Ann Arbor has to offer, give us a call at (734) 975-1700 to schedule a consultation.

Ann Arbor arthritic foot care model walking

Arthritic Foot Care Frequently Asked Questions

What does arthritis in the foot feel like?

Arthritis in the foot can cause a variety of symptoms, including:

  • Pain: This can be a dull ache, a sharp pain, or a burning sensation. It may worsen with activity and improve with rest.
  • Stiffness: Your foot may feel stiff, especially in the morning or after periods of inactivity. This can make it difficult to bend your toes or walk normally.
  • Swelling: The affected joints in your foot may become swollen and tender.
  • Redness: In some cases, the skin around the joint may be red and inflamed.
  • Clicking or Popping Noises: You may hear clicking or popping sounds when you move your foot.
  • Difficulty Walking: Arthritis can make it painful and difficult to walk, especially for long distances.

What is the best thing to do for arthritis in the feet?

There is no cure for arthritis, but there are a number of things you can do to manage your arthritic symptoms and improve your quality of life. These include:

  • Rest: Avoid activities that aggravate your pain.
  • Ice and Heat: Apply ice packs to reduce inflammation and heat packs to improve stiffness.
  • Orthotics: Custom orthotics can help improve alignment and reduce stress on your joints.
  • Physical Therapy: A physical therapist can teach you exercises to strengthen the muscles around your foot and ankle, improve flexibility, and reduce pain.
  • Medication: Over-the-counter pain relievers like acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil) can help manage pain. In some cases, your doctor may prescribe stronger medications.
  • Footwear: Choose shoes with good arch support and a wide toe box to accommodate any swelling.

Should you walk if you have arthritis in your feet?

Regular exercise, including walking, is generally beneficial for people with arthritis. It can help improve flexibility, strengthen muscles, and maintain a healthy weight. However, it's important to choose activities that don't worsen your pain. If walking is painful, talk to your doctor about other low-impact exercises that may be suitable.

How can I prevent arthritis in my feet from getting worse?

While there's no guaranteed way to prevent arthritis from worsening, certain lifestyle changes can help:

  • Maintain a Healthy Weight: Excess weight puts extra stress on your joints.
  • Wear Supportive Shoes: Proper footwear can help distribute weight evenly and reduce stress on your joints.
  • Stay Active: Regular exercise helps strengthen muscles and maintain joint flexibility.
  • Eat a Healthy Diet: A healthy diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains can help reduce inflammation.

What is the best anti-inflammatory for foot pain?

It's important to consult with a doctor to determine the best anti-inflammatory medication for your specific needs and medical history. Some common options include over-the-counter medications like ibuprofen (Advil) or naproxen (Aleve). Topical pain relievers may also be helpful.

Can arthritic toe joints be repaired?

In some cases, minimally invasive procedures like injections or joint debridement (removal of damaged tissue) may help improve symptoms in arthritic toe joints. However, in severe cases, surgery like joint fusion may be necessary. A podiatrist can discuss the best treatment options for you.

How do you fix arthritis in your toes?

There's no single "fix" for arthritis, but a combination of treatments can help manage symptoms and improve quality of life. This may include medication, physical therapy, orthotics, and lifestyle modifications. Consulting a podiatrist specializing in foot arthritis treatment is crucial for developing a personalized plan.

What does an arthritic big toe look like?

An arthritic big toe may appear swollen, red, and tender. The joint may also be deformed or bony. In some cases, a bump may develop at the base of the big toe (bunion).

Is walking good for ankle arthritis?

Walking is generally a good exercise for people with ankle arthritis, as it helps maintain joint mobility and strengthen muscles. However, it's important to choose low-impact surfaces like trails or grass and wear supportive shoes. If walking is painful, talk to your doctor about alternative exercises.

Get relief today at Arbor - Ypsi Foot & Ankle Centers

At Arbor - Ypsi Foot & Ankle Centers in Ann Arbor, Michigan, we identify your unique foot and ankle needs and develop a highly effective and individualized treatment plan to resolve them. Our experts will work relentlessly to make you feel better and put your best foot forward.

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