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Foot Arthritis: When Should You See a Doctor?
- Dr. Ahmadi
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Arthritis means “inflammation of the joint.” The condition affects nearly 21 million Americans and leads pain, discomfort, stiffness, and a decrease in quality of life. Arthritis can affect only specific areas of the body, like the foot and ankle.
Arthritis can develop after an injury or due to normal wear and tear of a joint. Arthritis caused by wear and tear is referred to as osteoarthritis and is the most common type. It regularly occurs in patients once they reach middle age, when the cartilage in the joints has become frayed and worn.
It is also possible to develop rheumatoid arthritis in the feet. This type is the result of an autoimmune disorder. While inflammation commonly occurs in the body as a part of the healing process, the body can lose control of its signals. The result is the immune system attacking the body’s own tissues, which leads to chronic pain.
The symptoms of foot arthritis can affect your day-to-day life and make it difficult to complete regular tasks and activities. Regardless of the type of arthritis you are experiencing in your feet, you might notice symptoms such as swelling, stiffness, reduced motion, pain, and tenderness. As these symptoms develop, it can affect your ability to walk.
When should I see my doctor?
Deciding when to see a doctor is an important part of finding relief from foot arthritis. If you notice any signs or symptoms of arthritis in your feet, you should contact your foot doctor as soon as possible. Arthritis can be managed and you can enjoy regular activities again. If treatment is started in the early stages, even rheumatoid arthritis can be managed so that you can reduce the degenerative nature of the disease. Seeing your doctor can help you to increase your mobility and find comfort, so don’t attempt to manage your foot arthritis alone.