Ahwatukee Foot & Ankle Center
Foot and Ankle Surgeons located in Phoenix, AZ & Maricopa, AZ
Arthritis is a common joint condition that causes mild to severe joint stiffness and pain, often making everyday tasks difficult or impossible. Though the condition isn’t curable, you can get pain relief and help to slow the condition by treatment at Ahwatukee Foot & Ankle Center in Phoenix and Maricopa, Arizona. Schedule an appointment with one of our physicians online or over the phone.
Arthritis Q & A
What is arthritis?
Arthritis refers to the inflammation of one or more joints throughout your body. Generally speaking, arthritis develops with age and causes joint pain and stiffness. The two leading types of arthritis are rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis:
Rheumatoid arthritis refers to a chronic autoimmune disorder that occurs when your immune system attacks its own healthy tissue and the lining of your joints. In doing so, your immune system can damage the joints and bones in your knees, feet and ankles, fingers and thumbs, or shoulders.
Osteoarthritis is generally caused by the natural wear and tear of the cartilage at the end of your bones. As it wears away, your bones begin to rub against each other causing inflammation and pain. In most cases, osteoarthritis is caused by age, but can also occur as a result of injuries or sporting activities.
The team at Ahwatukee Foot & Ankle Center also specializes in treating gout, another type of arthritis that develops when too much uric acid crystallizes and inflames the joint.
Who is more likely to develop arthritis?
You’re most likely to develop arthritis if you have a known family history of the condition. Arthritis most commonly develops as you age, since the older you get, the more your joints deteriorate. Joint deterioration can also come about as a result of an injury or being overweight, which adds pressure to your joints.
Your podiatrist at Ahwatukee Foot & Ankle Center can recommend a series of dietary changes you can make to avoid pronounced symptoms of arthritis, such as staying clear of foods high in refined sugar that can quickly inflame your joints.
What are the symptoms of arthritis?
While arthritis affects each person differently, there are symptoms common to both rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis, such as:
- Mobility issues
During your consultation at Ahwatukee Foot & Ankle Center, your podiatrist evaluates your symptoms to determine which type of arthritis you’re suffering from.
How is arthritis treated?
Since each person lives with arthritis differently, it’s essential that you spend the necessary time developing a comprehensive and individualized treatment plan with your doctor. Both rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis require unique treatments.
Rheumatoid arthritis is a complex condition to treat because it's chronic and degenerative. Your podiatrist at Ahwatukee Foot & Ankle Center may recommend:
- Antirheumatic medication
- Antibodies and vaccines
- Oral, topical, and/or injected steroids for inflammation and pain relief
- Regenerative injections to stimulate healing of tissue
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
For osteoarthritis, your doctor can recommend anti-inflammatory medication and a healthy nutrition plan to help to relieve some of the pressure on your joints.
Gout can be treated through radical dietary changes, especially those that include a diet high in complex carbs, vitamins, and low-fat products. This lowers your uric acid levels to prevent future outbreaks.
In some cases, arthritis requires a more drastic approach. The team of expert podiatric surgeons at Ahwatukee Foot & Ankle Center can perform joint replacement surgery or surgical repair of affected joints.
Arthritis is a challenging disease to manage, but it doesn’t have to stop you from living a healthy, active life. Schedule an appointment at Ahwatukee Foot & Ankle Center online or over the phone.
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