Many people are affected by ankle arthritis. There is no such specific disease called ankle arthritis; this is the fallout of osteoarthritis and sometimes rheumatoid arthritis. The ankle is the main joint, which supports the whole body’s weight. When the arthritis affects this joint, the pain usually is aggravated by the double impact of the weight and movement. The ankle joint moves in all directions and hence the deterioration of the cartilage, once the disease sets in, is rapid.
Be Careful, Sometimes The Pain Is Not Ankle Arthritis
Not all the pain you feel in the foot is caused by ankle arthritis. Sometimes, it is disguised as problems of the hip and lower back. A very careful examination is required to identify whether the harm is created by ankle arthritis or by any other health problems. A blood test would almost always rule out rheumatoid arthritis. However, if the pain in the foot is due osteoarthritis, it will require a very focused and intense treatment over a very long period of time – sometimes for life.
Occasionally, the ankle pain is due to a normal sprain, which can be as painful as a fracture. Doctors usually have a standard prescription for this, called ‘RICE’. This is an acronym for rest, ice compression and elevation. Rest – because it gives time for the damage cartilage and tissues to repair and regenerate; ice compression – because it will help reducing the pain and inflammation of the affected tissues; elevation – because it reduces the swelling and pain.
Ankle arthritis can be identified by its very peculiar characteristics:
- there are recurrent pains for no apparent reasons
- this pain is usually accompanied by sudden swelling and stiffness of the ankle
- the pain and stiffness does not go with regular medicines
- the big toe usually pains the most and will tend to turn to one side
- bunions develop and are extremely painful whether you touch them or not
Treatment of the ankle arthritis is often symptomatic. Doctors prescribe the standard medication to control pain and swelling caused by arthritis – and this would manage it well with time. However, since arthritis is not curable, the patient would stay dependent upon the medicines for life.
Sometimes, chronic arthritis patients find relief in alternative medicines. Since these are not endorsed by the FDA or doctors, it is difficult to recommend anything in particular. However, it is safe to mention here that some of the herbal medicines and yoga have been found extremely effective in checking this disease and even reverse it.