Arthritis of the feet
You may get impressed when you know that your foot contains 26 bones and more than 30 joints. Many different causes are responsible for foot pain, and arthritis is one common cause of them. Arthritis is a disease characterized by joint inflammation and tenderness. It can affect any joint in the body, and the feet are tremendously affected by arthritis.
In this article, we’re going to know about foot arthritis.
- How can arthritis affect your feet?
Arthritis has many clinical presentations. The common types of arthritis that affect the feet include:
As we grow older, our joints degenerate. Osteoarthritis happens due to wear and tear of the cartilage which causes joint roughness and inflammation.
- Rheumatoid arthritis:
It’s inflammatory arthritis in which the immune system shows abnormal activity and starts to attack the joints.
- Post-traumatic arthritis:
Trauma can cause arthritis due to bone fractures or improper healing.
- Arthritis on top of gout:
Gout happens when the body fails to get rid of uric acid. Uric acid accumulates forming crystals and gets deposited in tissues of the body, including the joints.
- Juvenile arthritis:
It’s a joint disease that affects children 16 years and younger
- Psoriatic arthritis.
- Risk factors:
- Old age.
- Obesity: Obesity increases the stress and pressure applied to your joints.
- Genetic factors: arthritis may be hereditary.
- Trauma and bone fractures.
- Morning stiffness lasts for a longer time in rheumatoid arthritis.
- Redness and hotness.
- Difficulty in walking and low range of mobility.
- Skin lesions (psoriasis) in psoriatic arthritis cases.
- How is foot arthritis diagnosed?
Your doctor will ask about your full medical history and assess your condition. The physical examination will be done including some tests to determine the severity of the inflammation.
Arthritis of the feet
Some clinical investigations are important such as imaging including X-Ray, CT, and MRI to check for fractures, erosions, and ligament tears.
Lab investigations may be requested if rheumatoid arthritis is suspected.
There is no cure for arthritis. the treatment is mainly symptomatic and varies from one person to another according to the severity of the condition.
Main lines of treatment include:
- Change your lifestyle:
- Lose weight:
You have to think about that if you’re overweight. A healthy diet and simple exercise will keep you fit. The exercises have another advantage, they help you maintain a normal range of mobility, and limit the stiffness.
- Ice & heat therapy:
It’s a home remedy method that relieves your pain.
- Assistive devices: wearing a brace—such as an ankle-foot orthosis (AFO)—may help improve mobility.
- Choose proper footwear: that will make you more comfortable and relieve your symptoms.
- Medical treatment:
- Non-steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDS): such as ibuprofen and naproxen are prescribed for pain relief.
- Steroid injection: if NSAIDs fail to relieve the pain, cortisone intra-joint injection is the next choice to relieve the pain and reduce the inflammation.
- Surgical treatment:
It’s the treatment of choice in severe resistant cases with joint damage or deformity. Ex: arthrodesis.