For seniors, maintaining an active lifestyle is key to health and well-being. However, a common issue frequently gets in the way: Arthritis. This joint-inflaming condition, manifesting in various forms, can significantly harm mobility and quality of life.
The team at CarePlus Foot and Ankle Specialists knows that proper patient education can make all the difference with any foot or ankle condition. That’s why this blog post is going to explore three of the most common types of arthritis seniors encounter, covering their basic characteristics and how to spot them before the condition worsens.
Osteoarthritis (OA): The Wear and Tear Warrior
- OA, the most prevalent form of arthritis, occurs due to cartilage breakdown in joints.
- In seniors, years of use can wear down knee, hip, and ankle cartilage.
- The deterioration of the cartilage leads to pain, stiffness, and difficulty walking.
Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA): The Autoimmune Aggressor
- RA is an autoimmune disease. It causes the immune system to attack joints, leading to inflammation, swelling, and pain.
- For seniors, RA can often damage the feet and ankles, hampering mobility.
Gout: The Sudden Strike Specialist
- This form of arthritis results from excess uric acid buildup in the body.
- Gout causes sudden and severe pain attacks in joints.
- Often targeting the big toe, gout’s severe pain can become disabling without treatment.
Early Detection and Management: Your Stepping Stone to Success
Identifying the type of arthritis affecting your feet is crucial for effective management. Consult your podiatrist for a diagnosis and treatment plan, which may include:
- Pain management: Medication, physical therapy, and joint injections can help manage pain and inflammation.
- Supportive footwear: Choosing shoes with good arch support and cushioning can significantly improve comfort and stability.
- Orthotics: Custom-made inserts can help correct foot imbalances and alleviate pressure on affected joints.
- Lifestyle modifications: Maintaining a healthy weight, staying active with low-impact exercises, and applying ice packs regularly can ease arthritis symptoms.
Don’t let arthritis go from a dull ache to a disabling condition. If you or a senior you love currently struggle with arthritic complications, contact Dr. Hubert Lee and his team at CarePlus Foot & Ankle Specialists in Bellevue, WA, to schedule a visit. You can schedule an appointment online or by calling us at 425-455-0936.