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853 Jefferson Ave
Washington, PA 15301
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By Philip S. Pinsker, DPM PC
May 10, 2016
Category: Foot Conditions
Tags: arthritis   gout  

When patients hear “arthritis” they think of joint pain and swelling and difficulty bending and straightening affected joints. While these are commonly recognized symptoms, arthritis is not a single disease. The term arthritis is actually used to refer to over 100 joint diseases and pain related conditions. May is National Arthritis Awareness Month and we at Philip S. Pinsker, DPM, would like to take this opportunity to inform you about the various types of arthritis that can affect the joints of your feet as well as the rest of your body.

Degenerative: Osteoarthritis, sometimes called “wear and tear” arthritis, is the most common category of arthritis. It occurs over time as joints lose their strength and cartilage wears away to the point that bone rubs on bone and pain, stiffness and swelling are the result. Although aging is definitely a factor for this type of arthritis, heredity, your weight and previous injuries also play a role.

Metabolic: If your body has trouble metabolizing uric acid or it produces too much of this enzyme, you may suffer from gout. Gout is particularly likely to strike your big toe joint. When uric acid builds up in your body it can crystallize in your joints causing extreme pain. You can help control gout by reducing or eliminating foods high in purines from your diet. These include red meat, red wine, heavy sauces and beer.

Inflammatory: One category of arthritis is autoimmune. Conditions such as rheumatoid or psoriatic arthritis happen when your immune system turns against itself and attacks joints with severe inflammation. These types of arthritis are usually part of a chronic syndrome that affects many parts of the body and others systems besides just your joints.

Infectious: It is also possible to contract arthritis through a bacteria, virus or fungus. Organisms that cause food poisoning, sexually transmitted diseases and blood infections can also cause inflammation of the joints.

For some types of arthritis, early treatment can greatly reduce or even eliminate joint inflammation and pain. In all cases, the catching the disorder in its initial stages always means a better outcome. If you are experiencing any pain or discomfort associated with the joints of your feet or ankles, contact our Washington office by calling: (724) 225-7410. Our experienced podiatrist, Dr. Philip S. Pinsker, will be able to help you find the source of the pain and suggest the best treatment plan for your specific joint issue.

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