In general, arthritis is characterized by inflammation and swelling in the joints. There may be pain, stiffness, and fluid accumulation as well. Because of the many bones and joints in the feet, they can be affected by the many different types of arthritis. While those with arthritis can have varying levels of symptoms, some suffer from severe pain or sudden attacks, and even physical changes in their body.
What can cause Arthritis in the Feet?
- Hereditary factors – some types of arthritis can be passed down through genetics.
- Disease-related problems that can affect the feet: osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, juvenile arthritis, gout, infectious arthritis, lupus, osteoporosis. These, along with other diseases can be the cause or be associated with the development of arthritis in the feet.
- Posttraumatic arthritis – After an injury, such as dislocation or fracture near a joint, the cartilage and lining of the joint may develop arthritis symptoms.
- Using drugs – Both prescription or illegal street drugs can have a side effect of arthritic symptoms.
There are many ways to treat arthritis in your feet: Physical therapy, pain and inflammation medication (aspirin, NSAIDs, and even cortisone injections); disease-specific medication (gout and osteoporosis medication); assistive devices (orthotic braces, inserts, or shoes); and lifestyle changes (prevent aggravating painful joints from impact activities, losing weight to relieve pressure on feet and ankles). Find a pair of shoes that are comfortable – high heels or tight shoes will very much aggravate the pain, especially if you have bunions. Surgery is usually a last resort in which damaged joints are repaired or replaced with artificial joints (such as ankle replacement), deteriorated cartilage or tissue is removed, or bones are fused together.
If you experience any of the following symptoms in the joints of the feet or ankles, see a podiatrist right away: swelling, recurring pain or tenderness, redness, restricted movement, or stiffness. Treating arthritis early can help to slow down the progress of the disease Make an appointment with us at The Podiatry Group. Our podiatrists, Dr. Mark E. Reiner, Dr. Michael A. Haughey, Dr. William G. Coates, and Dr. Erik D. Rosenlof can assess your feet and find the right treatment for your arthritic pain.