Ankle Arthritis isn’t a disease in its own right. It’s the result of osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis moving into the ankle joints. When you think about it, you’ll realize that the ankles support the entire weight of the body when it’s in a standing position.
Couple that with the fact that the ankle is also responsible for movement, and a patient can be in for a lot of pain. To make the whole thing worse, the ankle joint turns in all directions. This means that deterioration of the cartilage in the ankle will happen very quickly.
All Ankle Pain Isn’t Arthritis
Many times pain in the foot and ankle area can be caused by other problems instead of ankle arthritis. For example, a lot of lower leg pain can be traced back to problems in the lower back and hips. If you are experiencing a lot of pain in your ankles and feet, you need to see your doctor. After examining you, he’ll be better able to assess what is causing your pain.
A simple blood test will tell your doctor if you have rheumatoid arthritis which is a rare form of the disease. If you are diagnosed with osteoarthritis he may recommend you take intense treatments for a very long time, and maybe even for life.
Many of us have suffered from a sprained ankle at some point in our lives. It’s an extremely painful condition, and even though it may have a shorter recuperative period than an actual break, it will probably hurt more.
Doctors have a standard prescription for a sprained ankle which they call ‘RICE’. Very simply, RICE means rest, ice compression, and elevation, the three steps you need to follow in treating your sprained ankle.
There are a number of characteristics to look for that will increase the chance that you’re dealing with ankle arthritis and not some other problem:
- No good reason for recurring pains
- Sudden swelling and stiffness in the ankle
- Pain medication won’t alleviate pain and stiffness
- Big toe pain and the toe turning to the side
- Painful bunions that hurt without being touched
Ankle arthritis is treated depending on the symptoms that are being displayed and the stage the disease is in. Early on, standard, over-the-counter pain medications should take care of pain and swelling. As the disease advances, though, your doctor may want to treat it more aggressively. After all, there is no cure for arthritis.
After trying other treatments, some people who are suffering from chronic arthritis decide to try some form of alternative medicine. Although these herbal remedies and yoga techniques don’t come with endorsements from doctors and the FDA, many patients have found them very helpful in stopping the progress of, and even causing improvement in, their arthritis symptoms.