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Foot & Ankle Pain: Ignoring Your Symptoms Could Cause More Damage

 Foot & Ankle PainMore than 75% of people in the United States will experience foot disorders.  A large percentage of these individuals are in the aging population, but other factors can contribute to foot pain, like standing on your feet for extended periods of time, ill-fitting shoes, hereditary and genetic disorders, excessive exercise, trauma, and diseases.  However, one of the most common foot and ankle disorders is arthritis.

Arthritis
Arthritis is an inflammation of the joints. Some of the common arthritic symptoms are joint pain, stiffness, warmth, immobilization, and loss of range of motion, fatigue and inadequate blood flow. Two of the main types of arthritis are Osteoarthritis (OA) and Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA).  With Osteoarthritis, wear and tear damages the cartilage in the joints and causes friction between the bones rubbing together.  Injury or infection usually causes Rheumatoid Arthritis.  RA is an autoimmune disease that causes the body to attack its own lining of the joints and membranes; this results in painful swelling and inflammation.

Common Symptoms of Arthritis:
• Swollen Joints
• Joint Pain
• Stiffness
• Redness
• Sensations of warmth or burning
• Decreased range-of-motion
• Limited flexibility
• Loss of strength

Ankle Tendonitis
Ankle tendonitis is most commonly related to bone spurs and flat feet.  The Achilles tendon runs from the bottom of the foot up to the lower end of the calf.  If the ankle tendon is damaged, torn, or injured, it can cause immense discomfort.  These types of injuries tend to be progressive; you may start to notice slight pain that eventually increases to being unbearable.  It’s always best to see your physician at the onset of symptoms to prevent further damage.

Common Symptoms of Ankle Tendonitis:
• Warmth
• Tenderness
• Swelling
• Pain

Gout
Gout is a build up of uric acid.  Years ago many professionals believed that rich foods triggered gout, but we now know that gout is an internal illness that builds up uric acid crystals in the joints and causes swelling, redness, and a great deal of pain.  Gout is actually a form of arthritis, and it’s best treated by taking a daily medication to keep your uric acid levels low.  Gout affects commonly affects the ankle, foot, and toes.

Common symptoms of Gout:
• Warmth
• Extreme pain
• Inflammation
• Skin discoloration

Treatment
For sprains, and ankle tendonitis the typical treatment is rest, compression, ice, and elevation.  Staying off of your injured ankle and feet is imperative for healing.  Your podiatrist can give you a brace or compression stocking to help immobilize your foot, but it’s key to not try and get back in the game too soon.  There are also surgical options for advanced cases.

Along with taking the appropriate medications on a daily basis, for Gout and ankle arthritis, the best treatment is also to avoid walking or standing for long periods of time and to elevate the area as much as possible.

If you are experiencing any foot pain, or have symptoms of the knee and leg associated with your foot and ankle, please call 352.274.9900

MHC PODIATRY CLINIC
1714 SW 17th St, Ocala, FL 34471
352.274.9900  |  www.gotomhc.com

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