It's not shocking that arthritis affects your feet: the condition mostly affects your joints, and your foot has over 30 of them. If you have arthritis, you're probably aware of how painful it can be. Indeed, one in every six people over the age of 50 has osteoarthritis (OA), the most common form of arthritis. More than 90% of patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), the most common form of inflammatory autoimmune arthritis, experience symptoms in the foot and ankle over the course of the disease. Foot and ankle symptoms are among the first signs of the disease in around 20% of RA cases. Here at Healthy Steps, we can assist you with all kinds of arthritis in your feet with our custom orthotics, orthopedic footwear and footwear modifications specifically designed for you.
How different kinds of arthritis can hurt your feet
- The most common form of arthritis is osteoarthritis, also known as "wear-and-tear" arthritis. It's often referred to as degenerative joint disease or age-related arthritis by doctors. Osteoarthritis typically manifests itself over a long period. The first metatarsophalangeal joint (MTP), which attaches your big toe to your foot, is the most common site of osteoarthritis, but it can also impact the midfoot and ankle.
- Rheumatoid arthritis most often affects both feet and the same joints in each foot. RA often affects the small metatarsal/toe joints of your feet. OA, on the other hand, typically affects just one joint at a time. One of the most severe forms of arthritis is rheumatoid arthritis. It's an autoimmune condition that causes the immune system to destroy your joints. It usually occurs in the same joint on both sides of your body.
- Gout usually affects only the feet, especially the big toe. Gout is caused by an accumulation of uric acid in the body as a result of your diet. Since it's the farthest body part from your heart, it's most prevalent in your big toe.
- Psoriatic arthritis (PsA) may also affect the toes, causing dactylitis, a sausage-like swelling. Inflammation of the entheses, the places where tendons and ligaments bind to bones, is common with PsA. Plantar fasciitis, an inflammation of the band of tissue that attaches the heel bone to the toes, and bone spurs, which may cause discomfort if they press or rub on other bones or soft tissues, are the most common symptoms in the feet.
- After an injury, especially a dislocation or a bone fracture, post-traumatic arthritis may occur. It's possible that you won't find any issues for years and then suddenly, what appears out of nowhere, notice pain in your feet.
What symptoms should I look out for?
The following are common symptoms of foot and ankle arthritis:
- When you touch the joint, it feels tender.
- When you move your feet it hurts.
- It's difficult to move, walk, or place weight on it.
- Stiffness, warmth, or swelling of the joints
- After resting, such as sitting or sleeping, there is more discomfort and swelling.
These symptoms can be managed and here at Healthy Steps, we can help. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.