Arthritis of the Foot
Are you experiencing pain in your feet? Does this discomfort result after rest? You may be suffering from arthritis of the foot. This is a condition that can manifest in many ways and it is important to seek treatment to relieve symptoms.
What is Arthritis?
Arthritis is a condition caused by degeneration and sometimes inflammation of a joint. Indeed, with around 33 joints in the foot, this can mean that you can develop arthritis at any age. In particular, the joints in the ankle, midfoot and big toe are the most common joints affected by arthritis.
Are there Different Types of Arthritis?
There are several different types of arthritis that can affect your feet. It is essential that you are aware of the different types, in order to get the best treatment.
The most common type of arthritis in the foot is osteoarthritis. This can be referred to as wear-and-tear arthritis. It is a condition that can start when you are a young adult, with joint cartilage breaking down over time. The space that is between the bones in your feet will gradually decrease and the bones will start to rub together. This can be uncomfortable and create bone spurs. If you are overweight, this can increase your risk of osteoarthritis.
Rheumatoid arthritis can also affect your feet and it is an autoimmune condition. It can range from discomfort to severe debilitating pain. It typically occurs in the same joint on both sides of the body. The body’s immune system attacks the synovium of the joints resulting in inflammation. This leads to bone and cartilage damage, which can leave you in pain. Unfortunately, it is not known what causes rheumatoid arthritis.
Gout is a type of arthritis that happens when there is too much uric acid in the body. The uric acid gathers in the joints and crystalizes this typically results in pain and inflammation. Gout usually will attack the big toes joints. It ranges from extremely painful to mild aching symptoms
Psoriatic arthritis is a long-term condition and it can cause joints to become swollen and stiff. Often, this is an accompanying condition to psoriasis, which is a skin condition. This type of arthritis is an autoimmune disease.
If you have once injured your foot, this can develop into post-traumatic arthritis. When the joint surface is damaged, such as with a fracture, you may start to feel discomfort and stiffness.
While it is less common, ankylosing spondylitis is a type of arthritis that can cause a lot of discomfort and reduced mobility. You may also hear it referred to as Bechterew disease. While the cause is not known, it may start to affect the feet after other parts of the body.
What are the Symptoms of Arthritis of the Foot?
Often, this condition presents with discomfort and stiffness. This can occur with motion and particularly after extensive activity and exercise. In addition, people with arthritis often say that the discomfort can be worse in the morning and after resting. Your joints can be very painful and become warm to touch. The skin can also be red with visible swelling. Your mobility can be affected when you have arthritis of the foot.
What is the Treatment for Arthritis of the Foot?
It is important to realize that there is no treatment that is going to cure arthritis of the foot. But there are some options that are going to minimize the discomfort you are feeling and improve your mobility. There are tools your Chiropodist has to help prevent the arthritis from getting worse. The first step is visiting the chiropodist. They are able to examine your feet and diagnose arthritis and recommend the best treatment for you.
For example, your Chiropodist can provide you with orthotics and splints that can help with arthritis. These devices can offer support and cushioning, as well as realign the foot. Together, this can improve mobility and might reduce pain. Your Chiropodist can also make recommendations when it comes to footwear. Wearing the right shoes can help to decrease symptoms of arthritis. In cases with advanced arthritis, a chiropodist can offer a number of other treatments. This can include steroid injections, acupuncture, heat treatment and recommend strengthening exercises.
There are a number of possible treatments your Chiropodist will consider when considering what is best for your feet and ankles.