Joint pain in the feet is unfortunately quite common, especially among older adults. As joints get stiff, just standing and walking can get more painful, ultimately threatening your mobility, stability, and ability to perform daily tasks or enjoy physical activities.
But not all types of arthritis are created equal. Rheumatoid arthritis, or RA, is very, very different from other types of joint pain that you may experience as the result of wear and tear (osteoarthritis) or injury. Rather than grinding down in response to physical stress, the body’s own immune system mistakenly attacks the linings of joints, often causing severe pain and inflammation that may come and go without warning—in other words, periods where the disease is acute and periods where it is in remission. RA can also lead to much more troubling complications, including bone deformities and damage to skin, eyes, lungs, heart, nerves, blood vessels, kidneys, and more.
The bad news is that, unfortunately, we do not yet have a cure for this potentially debilitating disease. However, the good news is that, when you seek treatment early, we are able to help you manage the condition well. The focus is on putting the disease in remission and keeping it there when symptoms spike, which will also reduce the extent of damage to organs and reduce, delay, or even prevent the development of long-term complications, such as deformed joints.
Over the last several years, medications for RA have gotten more effective and more sophisticated. New categories of disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs, or DMARDs, have been developed—including biologics and JAK inhibitors—that have shown significant success at managing RA symptoms and slowing progression. At the same time, developing healthy habits, such as proper diet, exercise, and a positive mental attitude remain core components of an effective RA treatment program.At Family Foot Care & Surgery, we’re happy to help you manage your RA-related foot and ankle pain, and hook you up with the best treatments, techniques, and coping strategies available. We’ll also make sure you get a comprehensive examination so that any related or unrelated foot issues may be resolved in a timely fashion. This will help you cut down on pain and keep up with developing the healthy habits you’ll need to maintain a happy, pain-free lifestyle long into the future! To schedule an appointment in Milford or Hamden, CT, please call us at (203) 876-7736.