Alana Rodriguez is like many of the other girls who have competed at the Disney Cup International soccer tournament at ESPN’s Wide World of Sports complex. At 14-years-old, the sport is clearly her favorite. Unlike many other girls, however, Alana was diagnosed with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis before she was one-year-old. “She was only nine months old when they told me that she was, had this disease,” said Alana’s mother Diana Toledo, “and that it was incurable, …. and she wouldn’t be able to walk.” Going against doctors’ suggestions, Alana joined a team and began playing soccer. “I know soccer helped her develop to what she is now,” said Toledo. “She’s 5 foot 2, she looks perfectly healthy, she runs, she plays.”
Understanding where RA starts will help treat and prevent the condition. If you are suffering from rheumatoid arthritis, contact Dr. Andrew H. Cohen, D.P.M. of Mid-Michigan Foot and Ankle Center. Dr. Cohen will treat your foot and ankle needs.
What Is Rheumatoid Arthritis?
Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disorder in which the body’s own immune system attacks the membranes surrounding the joints. Severe pain and immobility are caused by an inflammation of the lining of your joints, and in worse cases the destruction of the joint’s cartilage and bone can occur.
Rheumatoid Arthritis of the Feet
Although RA usually attacks multiple bones and joints throughout the entire body, many cases result in pain in the foot or ankle area. Pain will often initially present in the toes before the condition worsens and spreads throughout the entire foot.
- Swelling and pain in the feet
- Stiffness in the feet
- Pain on the ball or sole of the feet
- Joint shift and deformation
Quick diagnosis of RA in the feet is important so that your podiatrist can treat the area effectively. Your doctor may ask you about your medical history and lifestyle to help determine possible causes of your RA.
Unfortunately, there is no cure for RA, so treatment options are designed to specifically target the symptoms of it, most notably the pain it causes. Two types of anti-inflammatory drugs – non-steroidal or NSAIDs and corticosteroids – may be prescribed by your doctor. In some severe cases where the joints are too badly damaged, surgery may be an option. As always, speak with your podiatrist to help determine the appropriate treatment options available to you.
If you have any questions feel free to contact one of our offices, located in Saginaw and Essexville, MI. We offer all the latest in diagnostic and treatment technologies to meet your needs.