5 Ways to Ease Arthritis-Related Ankle Pain and Stiffness

5 Ways to Ease Arthritis-Related Ankle Pain and Stiffness

Any form of ankle arthritis can make it more difficult to walk or perform other activities that involve movement. Pain and stiffness are two of the most debilitating chronic arthritis symptoms.

Arthritis symptoms can be unpleasant, but happily, podiatrists Ryan Golub, DPM, and Zachary Flynn, DPM, AACFAS, at Arizona Foot Health in Phoenix, Arizona, have solutions for your discomfort. In recognition of Arthritis Awareness Month in May, we recommend the following 5 treatments to help ease stiffness and pain that come from ankle arthritis.

What symptoms does ankle arthritis cause?

There are several different types of ankle arthritis, including osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and posttraumatic arthritis. They all share the common factor of causing inflammation in the ankle and foot area. 

The inflammation in your ankle can cause problems like pain and stiffness. Moving around and being on your feet can be uncomfortable without symptom relief.

5 treatments for ankle arthritis

Arthritis doesn’t have a cure, but some excellent treatments are available that help with symptoms like pain and stiffness and improve your quality of life. These are five of the treatments our podiatrists recommend:

1. Lifestyle changes

Sometimes, changes to your lifestyle are all you need to ease symptoms of ankle arthritis. The first step is to stop doing activities that cause pain and swelling until your pain is better under control.

If you’re active, it can help to switch from high-impact activities such as running and jumping to low-impact exercises like swimming, yoga, and cycling. If you’re overweight or obese, attaining a healthy weight with a doctor-managed weight loss plan can relieve stress and pain in your ankles.

2. Medication

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDS), including ibuprofen, help reduce inflammation symptoms, which decrease pain and stiffness. These medications are available over the counter or can be prescribed by our team in higher doses.

If you need stronger medication, our team can also give you a shot of cortisol in your ankle to relieve pain.

3. Medical devices

These are different types of devices you can wear that help with ankle arthritis pain relief. Custom orthotic devices placed in your shoes can help redistribute the weight in your foot or correct your gait, making movement more comfortable.

For even more support, a custom-fitted brace can change the placement of your foot to minimize strain on your ankle joint when you walk. Many types of arthritis braces are small, flexible, and fit in your shoes.

4. Physical therapy

A physical therapy program tailored to your needs can improve strength, flexibility, and range of motion. When practiced as prescribed, it can also help minimize pain and stiffness.

5. Surgery

If conservative methods of pain relief aren’t working, surgery is another solution. Our podiatrists can perform joint replacement or fusion therapy.

Joint replacement replaces your ankle joint with a new, synthetic joint, while joint fusion reduces motion by fusing the bones in your ankle together. Both surgeries are effective at reducing pain and stiffness.

There’s no reason to let ankle arthritis continue to limit your moment or make you uncomfortable when so many treatments are available today. For assistance managing your arthritis, contact us today.

You Might Also Enjoy...

What Issues Can Flat Feet Cause?

What Issues Can Flat Feet Cause?

Flat feet don’t always cause problems, but issues can unexpectedly develop at any time. Learn the issues flat feet can cause and how to help them get better.

Do Bunions Require Surgery?

One common question about bunions is whether they require surgery to correct. The answer depends on a number of factors. Here’s when you should consider surgery for your bunions.