Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis, and it is the result of years and years of wear and tear on all types of joints, causing them to break down. It is a disease that becomes more common with age, affecting over 50 million Americans, most of which are over the age of 50. Because the feet have many joints, arthritis can become debilitating for those who have it. However, proper treatment and lifestyle changes can help people cope with arthritis. Here are 8 options that you may find useful in treating your arthritis:
- Activity modification: There are likely certain activities that aggravate your arthritis more than others, so pay attention to them and limit them if possible.
- Watch your weight: Excess weight puts extra pressure on arthritic joints, especially in the feet. Even a pound or two may make a noticeable difference.
- Physical therapy: Physical therapists are trained to help you maintain muscle function and range of motion, and they may recommend home exercises that will benefit you.
- Walking aids: A walking aid like a cane or a walker may help with stability and reduce stress on the joint.
- Over-the-counter medications: Tylenol, Advil, and Aleve are three pain relievers that help with aching pains and inflammation. However, it is important not to combine them and to always consult with your doctor.
- Cortisone injection: Your foot doctor might give you an anti-inflammatory injection to temporarily relieve pain, but it is not something that can be repeated frequently.
- Bracing: A brace is effective for arthritis in the knee, and it may be useful for those who participate in high-stress activities like tennis or golf.
- Alternative therapies: Studies of the effectiveness of massage, acupuncture, and other home remedies on arthritis are inconclusive, but they can be discussed with your doctor.
Unfortunately, once your joints begin to degenerate, it is impossible to completely reverse the damage. However, that does not mean that you have to suffer. Utilizing digital x-rays, board-certified podiatrist Dr. Ryan L. D’Amico of Syracuse Podiatry can identify arthritis and other ailments like fractures or spurs and work with you to determine the proper treatment. Everyone in Central New York is encouraged to contact us at our Fayetteville office at (315) 446-3668!