Ankle osteoarthritis (OA) can be a very painful condition that can limit your activity level causing a negative impact on your quality of life. Ankle OA occurs when the articular cartilage in the ankle has worn away resulting in bone-on-bone irritation.
Most often, the OA condition is a result of previous ankle trauma such as ankle sprains or fractures. Although ankle sprains or fractures might fully heal, the trauma can eventually lead to joint deterioration and ultimately OA. Underlying medical conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis can also be debilitating to the ankle joint.
For the most part, ankle osteoarthritis is a result of wear and tear on the joint from years of activities. OA does increase with age causing the ankle cartilage to wear thin providing less cushioning between the bones.
SYMPTOMS AND TREATMENT
Symptoms of ankle osteoarthritis include:
- inflammation and swelling around the ankle joint.
- ankle pain and stiffness.
- pain when standing, walking, or bearing weight.
When it comes to treating your ankle osteoarthritis, your doctor may recommend several options:
- Anti-inflammatory drugs to help reduce joint swelling and pain.
- Physical therapy to aide in reducing joint inflammation and regaining ankle range of motion.
- The use of a specialized ankle brace designed to reduce weight bearing pain and help prevent excessive ankle movement that can cause further joint deterioration.
THE BEST ANKLE BRACES FOR OSTEOARTHRITIS PAIN
While long term physical therapy can help reduce pain associated with OA, the best option to reduce bone on bone irritation that causes joint pain is to wear a professional ankle brace designed to reduce impact to the ankle.
Most ankle braces are designed just to help prevent excessive ankle turning which causes injuries to ligaments. However, to treat OA you need an ankle brace that not only helps to prevent excessive ankle turning but will also “unload” or “offload” the ankle as well. “Unloading” means the ankle brace will absorb some of the impact from standing or walking that would normally be transferred through the ankle causing joint irritation and pain.
Our Ultra CTS (Custom Treatment System) ankle brace is designed for OA sufferers who need relief from the bone on bone irritation which is causing their OA. The Ultra CTS works by absorbing a portion of the impact created from standing or walking and then applies that impact “or energy” to the lower leg thus bypassing the sore ankle.
Less impact means less pain and joint irritation.
Since ankle OA is mainly caused by a history of ankle trauma which could include multiple ankle sprains or fractures, it stands to reason the ankle may be unstable which is contributing to wear and tear on the joint. The Ultra CTS will stabilize and firm up the lower leg and ankle which will help control unwanted joint movement which causes excessive irritation and pain. Since the Ultra CTS has a hinge, full up and down ankle range of motion is encouraged to help keep the muscles strong and the joint flexible.
With ankle osteoarthritis the goal is to reduce joint irritation, so the condition doesn’t worsen. Wearing the Ultra CTS is a great way to reduce or slow down the effects of OA so you can maintain your normal daily activities.
If you have any questions about ankle braces for your ankle osteoarthritis, please leave us a comment below or send one of our certified athletic trainers a message.
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