If you have arthritis in your ankles, it can make them feel painful and reduce your range of motion. Luckily, there are things you can do to reduce the pain. Here are some ideas to consider:
1. Consult with an orthopedic specialist.
As soon as you notice pain in your ankle joints, don't delay in seeking treatment. Arthritis involves the loss of cushioning around your joints, and if the symptoms aren't addressed, they may get worse as the bones in your ankle rub against each other. Ideally, you should consult with a specialist as soon as possible.
An orthopedic doctor can evaluate your range of motion and your pain level, and he or she can help you decide which pain medications you need, which exercises you should do and other treatment options.
2. Exercise your ankle.
When your body hurts, your natural response may be not to use it. In some cases, resting an injury is exactly what you need to do. However, in the case of arthritis, this is a chronic issue that will not go away with time, and as a result, you need to work on preserving your range of motion.
Don't overdo it. This is not the time to start motocross racing, horse riding or other intense sports, as injuring an area that has arthritis can cause the symptoms to get worse. Instead, you want to focus on small exercises. Simply, rotating your ankles for five minutes every morning can help with both your range of motion and your pain levels.
3. Get in the water.
You may notice some pain as you acclimate to your new exercise routine, but to alleviate this pain, try doing your exercises in hot water. The water heats up your ligaments, making them more flexible and thus making the exercises easier to do. Many communities offer exercise classes in hot water pools for residents with arthritis or other issues. Alternatively, if you have a hot tub, you can do your exercises in there, or in a pinch, you may sit on the side of the bathtub, dangle your feet in and do your ankle rotations under a few inches of hot water.
4. Wear an orthotic brace.
To support your arthritic ankle throughout the day, consider wearing an orthotic brace. This cushions your ankle and keeps your joint in alignment. You can buy orthotic braces from drug stores or even online, but to ensure you have the most support and the best fit possible, you should talk with your orthopedic doctor about choosing the right brace for your needs.
For more information, contact Orthopaedic Associates Of Rochester or a similar organization.