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Protecting Yourself From Arthritis Of The Foot And Ankle

     Meaning "pain within a joint," arthritis is a term that is largely used to refer to a number of different conditions. Although there is no cure for arthritis, there are many treatment options available to help relieve the pain. It is important to seek help early so that treatment can begin as soon as possible. With proper treatment from your podiatrist in Chicago at Affiliated Podiatrists, Ltd., you will be able to manage pain, stay active, and live a fulfilling life, even without surgery.

The Types of Arthritis in Your Feet

Currently, there are three different types of arthritis that may affect your foot and ankle - osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and post-traumatic arthritis. Osteoarthritis is also known as degenerative or "wear and tear" arthritis. It is a common problem for many people after they reach middle age. Over the years, the smooth, gliding surface covering the ends of bones (cartilage) becomes worn and frayed, resulting in inflammation, swelling, and pain in the joint. Osteoarthritis progresses slowly, while the pain and stiffness it causes worsens over time.

Rheumatoid arthritis, unlike osteoarthritis, which follows a predictable pattern in certain joints, is a system-wide disease. It is an inflammatory disease where your own immune system attacks and destroys cartilage. Additionally, post-traumatic arthritis can develop after an injury to the foot or ankle. This type of arthritis is similar to osteoarthritis and may develop years after a fracture, severe sprain, or ligament injury.

What are the Causes and Symptoms?

Arthritis is a disabling and occasionally crippling disease that affects almost 40 million Americans. Besides heredity, arthritic symptoms may arise in a number of ways:

* Through injuries, notably in athletes and industrial workers, especially if injuries are ignored.
* Through bacterial and viral infections that attack the joints.
* In conjunction with bowel disorders such as colitis and ileitis, frequently resulting in arthritic conditions in the joints of the ankles and toes.
* Using drugs, both prescription drugs and illegal street drugs, can induce arthritis.
* As part of a congenital autoimmune disease syndrome of undetermined origin.

Arthritis can affect the structure and function of the feet. For this reason, it is important to visit your Chicago podiatrist if any of the following symptoms occur in your feet:

* Swelling in one or more joints
* Recurring pain or tenderness in any joint
* Redness or heat in joint
* Limitation in motion of joint
* Early morning stiffness
* Skin changes, including rashes and growths

Treatment Options

The objectives in treating arthritis are controlling inflammation, preserving joint function (or restoring it if it has been lost), and curing the disease if possible. Arthritis may be treated in many ways, including physical therapy and exercise, accompanied by medication. The control of foot functions with shoe inserts called orthotics may be recommended as well. Surgical intervention is a last resort in arthritis, as it is with most disease conditions.

Contact your Chicago podiatrist at Affiliated Podiatrists, Ltd. for more information on arthritis of the foot and ankle. If you are experiencing symptoms of arthritis it is important to contact your podiatrist for immediate treatment. Don't ignore your joint pain-get treatment immediately to relieve your pain.

Article Source:

Sean Hartmen writes for Affiliated Podiatrists, Ltd., Chicago podiatrists. Offering an array of specialized treatments for foot and ankle conditions, such as Near North nail fungus treatment with the PinPointe Laser, Six Corners Medical Center is equipped to handle any podiatric need.

Posted on 2013-07-12, By: *

* Click on the author's name to view their profile and articles!!!

Note: The content of this article solely conveys the opinion of its author.

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