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Rheumatoid arthritis can be described as a chronic autoimmune disease “that affects 1.3 million Americans, the majority of whom are women.” If left untreated, the condition can lead to eventual disability of the joints. However, early diagnosis and proper treatment can help with prevention of symptoms. Rheumatoid arthritis occurs when our body’s immune system begins attacking healthy tissue, particularly in the joints. This leads to stiffness, swelling, pain, and warm sensations in the joints. Rheumatoid arthritis can affect anyone of any age.

Understanding where RA starts will help treat and prevent the condition. If you are suffering from rheumatoid arthritis, contact Dr. Alan Discont of Family Foot and Ankle Care. Dr. Discont will treat your foot and ankle needs.

What Is Rheumatoid Arthritis?

Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disorder in which the body’s own immune system attacks the membranes surrounding the joints. Severe pain and immobility are caused by an inflammation of the lining of your joints, and in worse cases the destruction of the joint’s cartilage and bone can occur.

Rheumatoid Arthritis of the Feet

Although RA usually attacks multiple bones and joints throughout the entire body, many cases result in pain in the foot or ankle area. Pain will often initially present in the toes before the condition worsens and spreads throughout the entire foot.

Symptoms

  • Swelling and pain in the feet
  • Stiffness in the feet
  • Pain on the ball or sole of the feet
  • Joint shift and deformation

Diagnosis

Quick diagnosis of RA in the feet is important so that your podiatrist can treat the area effectively. Your doctor may ask you about your medical history and lifestyle to help determine possible causes of your RA.

Treatment

Unfortunately, there is no cure for RA, so treatment options are designed to specifically target the symptoms of it, most notably the pain it causes. Two types of anti-inflammatory drugs – non-steroidal or NSAIDs and corticosteroids – may be prescribed by your doctor. In some severe cases where the joints are too badly damaged, surgery may be an option. As always, speak with your podiatrist to help determine the appropriate treatment options available to you.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Chandler, AZ. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about rheumatoid arthritis

By Family Foot and Ankle Care, PC
August 02, 2016
Category: Foot Care

Rheumatoid ArthritisFind out how to manage chronic arthritic symptoms to keep you on your toes!

Rheumatoid arthritis affects about 1 percent of the population, mostly affecting women between the ages of 40 to 60. If you’ve been diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis then you probably are looking for answers regarding your condition and what you can do to improve the health of your feet.

What is rheumatoid arthritis?

This chronic, autoimmune disorder targets joints anywhere on the body, but mostly the hands and feet. Approximately 90 percent of patients diagnosed with this form of arthritis will develop foot or ankle symptoms at some point during the course of their disease.

What are the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis?

Since this is an autoimmune disorder, the immune system actually attacks your body’s own tissue, causing inflammation and swelling of the joints. Those with rheumatoid arthritis also experience pain and stiffness in the feet and hands. While other forms of arthritis (e.g. osteoarthritis) only affect one joint, rheumatoid arthritis usually affects the exact same joints in both feet.

Different deformities (e.g. bunions; claw toes) and other problems may also develop, depending on what foot joint the rheumatoid arthritis inflicts.

What are the treatment options for rheumatoid arthritis?

While there is currently no cure for rheumatoid arthritis there are a variety of treatment options available to our patients to help reduce their symptoms and keep them living full, active lives. Certain medications can be prescribed to stop the immune system from attacking the joints.

Here are the most common types of orthopedic treatment options we recommend; however, remember that these treatments will not slow down or stop how the disease progresses, but it will help you to manage your symptoms:

Rest: This means reducing any movements or actions that make your rheumatoid arthritis pain worse. If you are naturally an active person, you may want to opt for low­impact activities like swimming, which takes pressure and impact off the joints in the foot.

Anti­inflammatories: Certain over­the­counter anti­inflammatories like ibuprofen can help reduce rheumatoid arthritis pain and inflammation. However, if your symptoms are severe then it might be time to talk to your podiatrist about prescribed pain relievers.

Icing: Apply an ice pack to the swollen, stiff joints for about 20 minutes at a time, three to four times a day. Icing can be particularly effective after you have finished any kind of physical activity.

Orthotics: If you experience a lot of issues walking or find that certain parts of your feet ache, then it might not be a bad idea to talk to your podiatrist about customized shoe inserts that can help correct foot deformities and take pressure off certain areas of your feet.

If there is severe joint damage, your podiatrist may recommend surgery to repair the issue. There are different types of foot surgeries to accommodate different rheumatoid arthritis issues and your podiatrist would be happy to sit down and discuss your surgical options.

If you have any questions about rheumatoid arthritis, call your podiatrist today!

The insurance companies of patients with hammertoes may require their patients to attempt non-surgical treatments before agreeing to pay for corrective surgery. Non-surgical treatments can involve the use of non-invasive methods such as a custom-made orthotic insert to decrease discomfort or a splint to hold the hammertoe in the correct position if it can still be straightened. Non-medicated pads can also be added to the top of the deformed joint to protect the toe from rubbing against the shoe. Invasive methods include the use of analgesic or anti-inflammatory drugs to help ease pain and swelling, as well as cortisone injections. In general, prevention of exacerbation involves wearing properly fitted shoes that leave a gap of at least half an inch between the longest of your toes and the tip of the shoe and avoiding wearing high heels.

For successful hammertoe correction you may require the help of a health professional. If you would like treatment for a hammertoe, see podiatrist Dr. Alan Discont, D.P.M. of Family Foot and Ankle Care. Dr. Discont will provide you with quality treatment and attend to all of your foot and ankle needs.

Hammertoe

Hammertoe is little-known a painful condition that affects the second, third and fourth toes involving different joints of the toe and foot. Hammertoe can be caused by many other conditions such as RA (rheumatoid arthritis), osteoarthritis, trauma or injuries to your foot, it can be hereditary and it can also be caused by a cerebral vascular accident. If you wear shoes that are too narrow or short for your feet, it may exacerbate any pain you already have.

It is really important to your overall well-being to seek out medical attention at the first signs of foot pain or anything that may hinder your ability to walk in a normal manner. Taking care of your feet is one of the first steps to being able to live a full and healthy life.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office located in Chandler, AZ. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about Hammertoes

New data collected by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicates that the amount of people in the U.S. with arthritis is increasing by amount one million per year. They claim they arrived at this statistic after comparing the number of adults with the condition in 2010 (50 million) to the number in 2013 (53 million.)

The CDC estimates that around two-thirds of these individuals may be younger than the retirement age. Arthritis is a disease that causes the joints to become painful and inflamed. It often manifests in the heel, big toe, and mid-foot bones.

Many Americans have to deal with the pain of arthritic feet on a constant basis. If you have arthritis or are concerned about getting it, talk to podiatrist Dr. Alan J. Discont of Family Foot & Ankle Care, PC. Dr. Discont will conduct a thorough examination of your feet and treat whatever conditions you may have.

Caring for the Arthritic Foot

Humans will walk approximately 75,000 miles in the average lifetime. This can put a great deal of stress on the 26 bones and 30 joints that we have in our feet. As we get older, our feet lose flexibility and elasticity. Our shock absorbers weaken, and the joints become inflamed and distorted if arthritis occurs, making medical foot care and treatment crucial.

It is best to take care of your feet by wearing proper shoes. Certain conditions can develop as a result of poor footwear, such as hammertoe, neuromas, or bunions. Wearing shoes that have a lower heel and extra room can help your feet be comfortable. In cases of rheumatoid arthritis, the arch in your foot can be problematic. Buying shoes that contour to your feet with good arch support can help immensely.

Alleviating Arthritic Pain

-Specific exercises that stretch the Achilles tendon can prevent further pain and injury and increase mobility
-Most of the pain can be alleviated with anti-inflammatory drugs, heat, and topical medications with Capsaicin.
-Massages can help to alleviate pain temporarily.

It is best to visit your doctor for treatment that is right for your needs and symptoms. Conditions vary, and a podiatrist can help.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact our office in Chandler, AZ. We offer the latest in diagnostic and treatment technologies to meet your needs.

Read more about Arthritic Foot Care.

Ankle ArthritisResearchers in the UK have found a way to help identify those who are at risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis, through the use of computer-based modeling.Rheumatoid arthritis, which consists of a painful inflammation of the joints, primarily comes from genetics and environmental factors, particularly smoking.

Through combining information about a patient’s smoking history and genetic markers determined from blood tests, doctors at the University of Manchester and King’s College London have been able to identify the likelihood of developing the condition.According to Dr. Ian Scott of King’s College, “This is an important first step in trying to develop ways to prevent the onset of rheumatoid arthritis.”

If you are suffering from foot pain and think it might be caused by arthritis, you should seek the care of a podiatrist likeas Dr. Alan Discont of Family Foot & Ankle Care, PC. Dr. Discont can examine your foot pain and diagnose any potential conditions.

What Is Rheumatoid Arthritis?

Rheumatoid Arthritis is an autoimmune disorder in which the body’s own immune system attacks the membranes surrounding the joints. As a result, inflammation of the lining and the destruction of the joint’s cartilage and bone occur.

Symptoms

- Swelling & pain of the feet
- Stiffness in the feet
- Pain on the ball or sole of feet
- Joint shift or deformation can occur

Diagnosis

Quick diagnosis of RA in the feet is usually necessary for the podiatrist to treat the area effectively. Your doctor will ask you about your medical history, occupation, and lifestyle to determine what could have triggered the condition. The Rheumatoid Factor Test helps determine if someone is affected by the disease.

Treatment

Treating RA is usually a lifelong process that includes a variety of methods and therapy. Your doctor will prescribe special shoes that help with arch and heel support, and a physical therapist will assist with joint flexibility.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of our two offices which are located in Sun Lakes or Chandler, AZ. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read the full article on Rheumatoid Arthritis.