Tarsals / Talus Injuries
Another common cause of ankle pain is a tarsal injury. This happens when one of the bones in the ankle called the tarsal bone is broken. This can be very painful and lead to swelling and bruising.Sometimes the tarsal bone can also be displaced . This can cause ankle instability, which can make the pain even worse.
What Are The Symptoms And Early Signs Of Arthritis In The Feet And Ankles
Like arthritis in other parts of the body, arthritis in the feet and ankles is indicated by tenderness or pain, stiffness, and swelling. Often, the first sign of arthritis in the feet and ankles is persistent tenderness, typically in one or two small joints. Over time, these symptoms may expand to include a reduced ability to move or walk. Bone spurs may often occur, causing a lumpy or deformed joint. Less commonly, arthritis may be accompanied by tingling and numbness in the feet and toes, which is usually caused by nerve irritation over time.
Get Foot Pain Relief With Arthritis
Need some foot pain relief? If you are older than 60, you may find yourself saying Oh, my aching feet! often. According to the Arthritis Foundation, close to half of people in their sixties and seventies suffer from arthritis foot pain. In fact, the damage starts even sooner: Beginning in your forties, your feet begin to show wear and tear, explains Dennis Frisch, a doctor of podiatric medicine in Boca Raton, Florida.
Arthritis is inflammation in or around the joints that results in swelling, pain, and stiffness. It can generally be divided in two categories:
- Osteoarthritis and other wear-and-tear types of arthritis
- Inflammatory arthritis
Osteoarthritis, the most common kind of arthritis, affects millions of people worldwide. This type of arthritis occurs over time and by overuse. The cartilage between the bones at your pivotal joints wears away. As a result, your bones grind against each other, causing pain and swelling. Very often osteoarthritis also causes degeneration of the cartilage at the base of your big toe, resulting in big toe joint pain. Bony spurs then develop at the joint there, followed by pain in the big toe and decreased motion of the joint.
Arthritis in the feet causes pain and a loss of strength, flexibility, or exercise ability. For millions of people with arthritis in the feet, simple daily tasks such as walking out to get the mail can be painful. Eventually, walking may become nearly impossible.
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Which Lifestyle Changes Help With Ankle Pain
Taking good care of your health may help you manage ankle pain and inflammation.
Lose weight. If youâre overweight, you put more stress on your joints. By losing a few pounds and managing a healthy weight, your joints will have less pressure placed on them.
See your doctor. Getting treated for ankle pain is important to feel better and avoid long-term problems. Talk to your doctor about your symptoms and how they impact your life and how well you get around. Your doctor can treat your pain and swelling so you can avoid bigger problems and permanent damage.
Foot And Ankle Arthritis
Foot and ankle arthritis are general terms for localized joint inflammation. Arthritis of all types involves inflammation in and around joints, which often leads to pain, stiffness, and swelling. When smooth, cushioning cartilage in joints is lost, bones begin to wear against each other. Arthritis results from this progressive joint deterioration. Previous injury, like an ankle fracture, is one of the most common causes of foot and ankle arthritis because damaged cartilage can lead to accelerated inflammation.
There are 28 bones and more than 30 joints in each foot. This means foot and ankle arthritis may feel especially acute, even though the ankle is affected less often than other joints. There are a few common foot and ankle joints especially prone to arthritis development, including where the ankle and shinbone meet, the joint of the big toe and foot bone, and the three joints of the foot that involve the heel bone, the inner mid-foot bone, and the outer mid-foot bone.
There are several different types of foot and ankle arthritis. The important differences between these conditions are determined by the underlying cause and the speed with which the arthritis develops. See below for detailed explanations of many common forms of foot and ankle arthritis.
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Causes Of Arthritis Of The Ankle
- Defective positions in the ankle following a ligament rupture
- Bone and cartilage injuries following a ligament rupture
- Overstressing the ankle due to sports or being overweight.
- Insufficient exercise
- Defective positions and dysfunction of the leg axis due to defective positions .
- Defective position following an accident.
- Neurological causes, e.g. polyneuropathy or nerve damage.
- Metabolic causes: gout, haemochromatosis, diabetes mellitus.
The upper ankle joint is frequently afflicted by arthritis following accidental damage. Accidental damage includes ligament damage of the upper ankle joint after twisting the ankle as well as joint damage following ankle fractures.
It can also occur if fractures away from the ankle joint heal in a defective position. This results in a constant incorrect weight bearing of the cartilage in the ankle. This damage typically only develops over years In addition to acquired causes, there also are inherent causes for arthritis of the ankle: Congenital club foot, flatfoot or hollow foot.
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Warm Or Cold Compress
Using a warming pad or whirlpool for a few minutes can loosen a stiff ankle joint, making activity easier. Icing the ankle joint for 15 or 20 minutes after activity can decrease swelling and provide some immediate pain relief. Heating or icing a joint may improve symptoms temporarily: it does not alleviate the underlying causes of ankle pain and will not improve long-term joint function by itself.
When To Consult A Doctor
While most ankle sprains heal with a little TLC and at-home care, its important to know when the injury has progressed past that point.
Those who experience extreme swelling or bruising, along with the inability to put weight or pressure on the area without significant pain, should consult a doctor.
Another general rule is to seek medication attention if theres been no improvement during the course of the first few days.
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How Does Arthritis Of The Ankle Feel
With arthritis of the ankle, the patient feels as though he or she first has to “warm up the ankle” after a period of sitting or resting. The joint is “stiff” and frequently swollen as well. It is also not able to handle strain as well any more: Following physical strain, the ankle afflicted by arthritis is still sore and swollen days later. The quality of life declines greatly, as ankle pain increases whilst walking, when suffering from arthritis of the ankle.
Movement accompanied by shock to the joint, such as jogging or playing tennis, becomes totally impossible. The ankle aches and stiffens. Arthritis of the talocalcaneal joint is also a widespread disease. In the final stages of arthritis, the ankle is painfully stiff. It is then replaced with an ankle prosthesis or stiffened through arthrodesis. This allows the patient with severe arthritis of the ankle to remain mobile in everyday life.
Get The Blood Flowing With These Arthritis Stretches And Exercises To Relieve Ankle Arthritis Pain
If you consider how much weight your ankles support daily, its pretty clear that this lower-body joint is an important one. So its crucial to make sure you practice healthy ankle care by doing things like wearing supportive footwear and sitting properly without your feet crossed .1, 2
If youre feeling ankle pain due to arthritis, consider using Voltaren Arthritis Pain Gel. It has a triple effect of relieving the pain of arthritis, improving mobility, and reducing stiffness. But keeping your ankles conditioned to movement is also a key component to minimizing pain, especially from ankle arthritis overall. The best way to do that? By strengthening the muscles around the ankle. We use these muscles as shock absorbersthey are responsible for taking on the load of our body as we step, or run, or go down a flight a stairs, says Blake Dircksen, PT, DPT, CSCS, orthopedic physical therapist at Bespoke Treatments Physical Therapy & Fitness in New York City. The stronger these muscles are, the more were able to attenuate that load and take it off of the ankle joint.
In order to help strengthen these muscles, Dircksen shared some ankle exercises to try. Add these into your daily routine to help ease ankle arthritis pain.
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Summary Of Ankle Arthritis
Ankle arthritis is a result of damaged or worn cartilage at the joint that connects the foot to the leg. It may be the result of injury, wear and tear, deformity or inflammation. In the early stages, activity modification, weight loss, rest and acetaminophen are the primary treatment strategies. As the arthritis progresses, bracing and physical therapy may be needed. Surgery can be successful in treating ankle arthritis when it does not respond to non-surgical management.
Causes Of Osteoarthritis Ankle Pain
The commonest cause of ankle osteoarthritis is post-traumatic and can develop following a fracture of the ankle or even just repeated sprains. Unlike the hip and knee where osteoarthritis often occurs for no identifiable reason , the ankle rarely develops arthritic changes without an identifiable cause.
The ankle is a complex joint which is subjected to huge forces during daily activities and especially during running. It is also the joint most commonly injured in the human body. This combination of factors predisposes the ankle joint to wear and tear changes.
Other causes of osteoarthritis are abnormal foot mechanics and there are some diseases associated with arthritis such as haemochromatosis.
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Braces For Ankle Arthritis
People with active lifestyles frequently seek non-surgical interventions and pain relief methods to continue their daily living activities. Thats why wearing an ankle brace to support the joint or ankle compression sleeve to assist reduce pain, swelling and stiffness, adding brace or inserts to the shoes to provide cushion and foot support, or in extreme cases, a splint to immobilise the area are all non-surgical management options.
Arthritis Pain In The Feet And Ankles
Most arthritic pain in the feet and ankles is caused by the most common form of arthritis, osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis occurs when the cartilage between bones at pivotal joints wears away. The bones then grind together, causing inflammation, swelling, and pain.
Osteoarthritis foot and ankle pain typically occurs at the ankle joint where the ankle connects to the shinbone, at the joints connecting the three parts of the foot, and in the joint connecting the big toe to the ball of the foot.
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What Can I Do To Relieve Ankle Pain
Most ankle pain gets better with rest, ice and over-the-counter pain medication. Follow your providers instructions for at-home treatments for ankle pain. Your provider may recommend the RICE method . If pain is severe or your ankle still hurts after a few days of at-home care, see your provider.
The most common home treatments for ankle pain are:
- Rest: If youve had an injury such as a sprain, you should stay off your feet for a while. Talk to your provider about how long you should rest. Crutches or a walking boot can help you get around without putting weight on your ankle.
- Ice: To reduce swelling, apply ice or a cold compress to the area for 15 to 20 minutes every few hours.
- Compression: Ask your provider about wrapping an elastic bandage around your ankle to reduce inflammation. Be careful not to wrap it too tight.
- Elevation: Resting with your ankle elevated above your heart reduces swelling. You can also try to sleep with your foot elevated at night.
- Over-the-counter pain medication: Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs can relieve pain and reduce swelling. Talk to your provider before taking any medication.
- Supportive footwear: Make sure your shoes provide adequate support for your feet and ankles. Avoid flip-flops, sandals and shoes that are too loose. Its especially important to wear proper footwear when playing sports. Activities such as basketball and volleyball can lead to ankle injuries, especially without the right footwear.
What Does Foot And Ankle Arthritis Pain Feel Like
Foot and ankle arthritis pain can include a range of sensations. The most common are dull, persistent tenderness and stiffness caused by swelling. The pain is generally minimal, and most people with foot and ankle arthritis describe the experience as uncomfortable rather than painful. However, in more advanced cases of arthritis, such as rheumatoid arthritis and progressed osteoarthritis, the pain may be constant and even debilitating.
Some forms of foot and ankle arthritis, such as arthritis in foot arch, can also feel unstable, or like the joint may give out. Arthritis in the foot and ankle can also cause tingling and numbness in the feet and toes, a result of nerve irritation around the affected joint.
Foot and ankle arthritis may sometimes feel acute. Some people with the condition describe a sharp, throbbing, shooting, or stinging pain in the affected area, though this is not often persistent. Usually, this acute pain happens when the afflicted joint is stressed or strained. Though more common in the foot arch or in the toes, this sensation can also occur with arthritis in the top of the foot.
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Problems Linked To Low And High Arches
Arches that are higher or lower than average can increase your risk of developing other problems, such as:
- corns and calluses.
The self-care tips can help ease pain in your arches.
Changing your footwear to a well-made running trainer that you feel supports the shape of your arch may prevent further painful changes to the structure of your arches.
Insoles and arch supports can help but its best to visit a foot specialist, such as a podiatrist, to get ones designed specifically for your foot shape.
If youre buying new footwear its best to take any adaptations, such as insoles, padding, or arch supports with you, as you may need a larger shoe size to fit them in comfortably.
Losing weight, if you need to, can reduce the strain on your arches and may prevent further long-term changes.
You may find it difficult to do exercises that put a lot of pressure through your feet. Swimming is a good way to improve and maintain your fitness because the water supports your body weight.
Cartilage Variances In Arthritis Of The Ankle
- Grade 0: Healthy, lubricated cartilage.
- Grade 1: Chondromalacia, disorders of the cartilage structure.
- Grade 2: Moderate disorder of the connective tissue in the cartilage.
- Grade 3:Lacerations in the cartilage surface, roughening.
- Grade 4: Bones are no longer covered in cartilage.
Arthritis of the talocalcaneal joint is the result of the disease progressing over years. In the beginning there’s always damage to the joint cartilage. After this initial damage to the joint cartilage, resilience to stress is reduced.
The surface is considerably less rougher than healthy cartilage, thus resulting in increased cartilage abrasion in the joint. The colour of the joint cartilage changes from white to a shade of yellow.
Initially this reduced resilience is only noticeable with high stress . But later, even typical everyday use can result in increased cartilage abrasion. The friction between smooth cartilage surfaces in a healthy joint is only a fraction of the friction of two ice cubes rubbing together.
The roughening or the complete breakdown of the cartilage surface greatly increases friction. Over time, in addition to the sliding function, the cushioning function of cartilage in the ankle is also lost.
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Shoe Inserts And Rocker Shoes
Cushioning shoe inserts can reduce the pressure put on the ankle joint when walking. They can also discourage ankle rolling. A doctor can recommend appropriate pre-made inserts or custom inserts.
A doctor may also recommend rocker shoes, which have soles rounded from front to back. The rounded soles require less flexion of the ankle while walking however, some people find rocker soles difficult to get used to and are less stable wearing them.1
Adding Exercises To Your Daily Routine
With these exercises and close attention to your symptoms, you should notice a gradual improvement in your ankle function to be able to return to your normal daily activities. The biggest benefit is the confidence you will gain in your own ankle. If you arent sure where to start, you can always talk to your orthopedic doctor, podiatrist, or physical therapist for advice on getting started.
As always, if your symptoms arent improving, they are affecting your quality of life, or getting worse- get in touch with a medical professional for further medical advice. For extreme cases, a joint replacement may be required.
Contact A Podiatrist For Foot And Ankle Arthritis Treatment
Arthritis is a chronic condition that affects millions of people worldwide. If you are struggling with arthritis of the foot or ankle, it is important to talk to your podiatrist about the best treatment options. There are many different treatments available, and the best choice for you will depend on the severity of your symptoms and your overall health. With the proper treatment, you can find relief from your arthritis symptoms and improve your quality of life!
Contact a podiatrist today for relief from chronic pain associated with arthritis.