10 Aug Joint Pain
Over 4.5 million Canadians have arthritis and in the coming years, this number will continue to grow.
It is quite common for arthritis to be present in the hips, knees, ankles or feet. It can arise with age, from normal wear and tear on the joint. However, it can also arise as the result of infection, poor genetics, a prior injury, surgery, or in association with a disease process, such as psoriasis. Obesity and lifestyle choices can also lead to arthritis, especially in the hips, legs and feet.
What is Arthritis?
The word “Arthritis” translates to “inflammation of a joint.” It is a broad term that defines around 200 rheumatic diseases affecting the joints. Many people think that it is much more specific but in fact, any condition that causes pain, swelling, aching or stiffness in and around one or more joints, is a form of arthritis! It can affect anyone; all ages, genders and ethnicities. However, it is more common amongst women, ranking as the number one cause for disability in Canadian women.
How do I know if I have Arthritis?
Arthritis can occur suddenly or (more commonly) be a slow process whereby your joints become more painful and stiff with time. If you suddenly experience a reddened, painful joint that is warm to touch, you might have a type of arthritis known as Gout, or one due to infection. These types warrant an immediate call to your family doctor or urgent care clinic. Treatment will include medications, such as antibiotics or anti-inflammatories. If your joint pain is of the slower onset variant and has been persistent for more than 6 weeks, then you will need to have x-rays and bloodwork to determine what type of arthritis you have. You may even visit with a joint specialist, following the visit with your family doctor.
Arthritis in your knees and feet
Pain in the legs or feet is not normal, even in children. Do not dismiss joint pain as “growing pains,” or “old age.” If you have joint pain in your knees, ankles or feet, you should have a biomechanical specialist, such as a BioPed Pedorthist or Chiropodist examine the way you walk and the range of motion of that joint, as well as the others surrounding it. Our specialists can make recommendations for footwear, bracing, or orthotics if necessary. These items can actually halt the progression of some arthritic conditions and prolong your mobility in life!
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