Over 54 million men and women in the United States have arthritis, limiting their ability to work and do simple activities like climbing stairs. If you or your loved one feel pain at your joints, call today or book an appointment online with podiatrists Dr. Darren Silvester and Dr. Boyd Bills at Next Step Foot & Ankle Clinic, with two convenient San Antonio-area locations in Universal City and Pleasanton, Texas. You’re sure to get the relief you need.
What is arthritis?
Arthritis refers to an inflammation of the joint. It’s the leading cause of disability in the United States, and people of all ages and sexes can have arthritis.
Over 300,000 children in the United States suffer from a type of arthritis. However, it is more common in women and the older generation.
What are the symptoms of arthritis?
If you have arthritis, you may feel intermittent or sharp pain in your joints, neck, back, hands, ankles, or feet. You may also experience difficulty in walking, fatigue, and weak muscles. Your joints may be stiff, tender, or swollen.
What types of arthritis are there?
There are over 100 types of arthritis and associated diseases. The most common types include osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and fibromyalgia.
Osteoarthritis is a very common type of arthritis, accounting for about 80% of arthritis patients. If you have osteoarthritis, it could be as a result of:
- Family history of the disease
- Joint malalignment
- Gait, or the natural way you walk
- Abnormal biomechanics
While the early stages of osteoarthritis are associated with inflammation and no joint damage, the more advanced stages can lead to immobility of your joint with complete joint destruction.
Rheumatoid arthritis is a disease of your immune system. The immune system attacks the joints, causing severe destruction of the articular surfaces. It can often lead to severe deformities and joint damage.
If you have fibromyalgia, you may feel your joints and muscles are stiff and often painful to move. You might also experience chronic fatigue, lack of sleep, muscle aches, and pain across your foot or body.
Fibromyalgia happens because your body doesn’t manufacture enough chemicals to control or regulate pain. Although the exact cause is not known, it has been linked to stress and physical or mental illness. Common risk factors include:
- Family medical history
- Presence of other diseases or infection
- Emotional or physical abuse
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
- Anxiety and depression
- A sedentary lifestyle
How is arthritis treated?
The expert team at Next Step Foot & Ankle Clinic prescribes treatment based on the type of arthritis you have.
Your treatment starts with a consultation where your medical history and symptoms are taken and thoroughly evaluated. Your doctor performs tests to identify the type of arthritis that you may have.
If you have fibromyalgia, your doctor suggests adequate sleep, gentle exercise, medications to manage pain, and other physical therapies.
If you are diagnosed with osteoarthritis, your treatment is customized based on the joint affected and the severity of your symptoms. Your podiatrist might suggest biomechanics to support the joint and decrease the stress across your joint. To further treat your arthritis, he may recommend surgery, steroid injections, or anti-inflammatory medications.
If you have rheumatoid arthritis, it’s recommended you see a rheumatologist. Your doctor also prescribes you medication to increase your chances of effective treatment. He might add braces or supports to take pressure off your joints and alleviate pain.
Call or book an appointment online today to put an end to your pain and discomfort.