Thursday, September 26, 2013

Coping With the Pain of Ankle Arthritis

Patients who suffer from "ankle arthritis" are actually dealing with osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis which has settled in the ankle joints. A lot of pressure is put on ankle joints, because they bear the brunt of the entire weight of the body. When you pile all of your weight on sore joints and take a step, there's bound to be pain. What's worse, ankle joints are ball joints which rotate in all directions, so the cartilage will deteriorate even faster than in other joints.

Ankle Pain Stemming from Other Causes

Never just assume that any pain you have in your ankles and feet is being caused by arthritis. These pains can be caused by many different things, including lower back and hip problems. Before just shrugging your shoulders and thinking, "Its only arthritis", make an appointment with your doctor for an exam. Only then will he be able to tell what's causing your infirmity.

The rarer diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis can be made by taking a simple blood test. If you are diagnosed with the more common osteoarthritis, it may mean that you'll be facing a regimen of intensive treatments for the rest of your life.

Sprained ankles are fairly common and cause sufferers a lot of pain, even more so that an actual break. To treat a sprain, doctors will prescribe 'RICE'. No, not the stuff you eat. In this case RICE means:
o Rest - and give your ankle a chance to heal.
o Ice Compression - use cold compresses to reduce inflammation and pain.
o Elevation - keep the leg raised to lessen swelling and pain.

You may be able to tell if you have ankle arthritis by watching for the following symptoms:
o Recurring pains without a reason
o Swelling and stiffness suddenly occurring
o Pain remedies won't stop the pain and stiffness
o A big toe that's very painful and wants to turn to the side
o Bunions that hurt badly even when not being touched

When a person first develops ankle arthritis, simple OTC pain medications will probably be all the treatment needed. The disease is incurable, though, and will progress over time. It may get to a stage where your doctor wants to treat the condition much more aggressively.

If you've tried everything looking for relief from arthritis pain, you may want to do what many others have done, and try some form of home remedy. Doctors and the FDA frown on such practices as herbal medicines and yoga, but there are a lot of people who swear by the treatments claiming they have stopped the progression of the disease and even caused some improvement.

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