Footing the Bill: How a Podiatrist Can Help Manage Foot and Ankle Arthritis

May’s Arthritis Awareness Month isn’t over yet, so we want to spread the word however we can.

Arthritis, a broad group of conditions causing inflammation and pain in the joints, can affect any part of the body, including your feet and ankles. These weight-bearing joints are susceptible to wear and tear over time, making foot and ankle arthritis a common yet serious concern. Fortunately, the team at the Reconstructive Foot and Ankle Institute can help you significantly improve your quality of life, manage symptoms, and prevent further damage. Read on to learn how.

Understanding Foot and Ankle Arthritis

There are several types of arthritis that can affect the feet and ankles, but the most common are:

  • Osteoarthritis (OA): This “wear and tear” arthritis results from the breakdown of cartilage, the cushioning material between bones.
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA): This autoimmune disease causes the immune system to attack healthy joints, leading to inflammation and severe pain in some cases.

Symptoms of foot and ankle arthritis often include:

  • Pain, especially in the morning or after activity
  • Stiffness that makes it difficult to walk or bend your foot
  • Swelling
  • Tenderness to the touch
  • Reduced range of motion

How a Podiatrist Can Help

While there’s no magic bullet for managing arthritis, a podiatrist can develop a personalized treatment plan to manage your symptoms and slow the progression of the disease.

  • Diagnosis and Treatment: Through a physical examination and possibly X-rays, a podiatrist can diagnose the type of arthritis and recommend appropriate treatment options.
  • Pain Management: Medication, physical therapy, and injections can reduce pain and inflammation.
  • Custom Orthotics: Podiatrists can design custom orthotic inserts for your shoes. These inserts provide support and improve alignment, reducing stress on the joints and minimizing pain during activities.
  • Supportive Footwear: Selecting shoes with good arch support and cushioning can significantly impact comfort and mobility. A podiatrist can recommend footwear specifically designed for arthritic feet.

When in doubt, check in at the Reconstructive Foot & Ankle Institute to experience our comprehensive podiatric services for yourself. Call us at 301-797-8554 or contact us to schedule an appointment! Located in Hagerstown & Frederick, MD, we’re ready to meet any of your foot health needs. Don’t forget Dr. Michaels’s motto: “If it’s below the knee, think of me!”