Arthritic Conditions and Foot Pain

You may think of arthritis as a condition that only affects the elderly, or as a routine part of aging. However, the truth is that arthritis can affect people of any age.  Arthritis can also be a major contributor to foot pain. Read on to learn more about the link between arthritic conditions and foot pain.

What is Arthritis?

Arthritis is a condition that causes inflammation of the joints, particularly the lining of the joints and surrounding cartilage. The amount of fluid in the joints may also increase.  Arthritis often accompanies many other diseases and conditions; in fact, it is a common component of more than 100 known diseases.

The feet are particularly susceptible to the pains of arthritis because they contain so many bones and joints.  There are 33 joints in each foot, and each one of them bears the entire weight of the body every time you stand up or walk.

Arthritis affects millions of people.  The tendency to develop arthritis seems to have a hereditary link.

Arthritis becomes more likely to develop with age, and people over the age of 50 are most likely to have arthritis.  However, people of all ages, even from infancy, can suffer from arthritis.

Arthritis can be disabling, and arthritis in the feet can result in a lack of mobility.  However, proper medical and podiatric care can improve one’s comfort level immensely.

What Causes Arthritis?

As mentioned, arthritis often is linked with heredity.  There are several other situations that can contribute to the development of arthritis, as well.  They include the following:

  • Injuries, particularly those that are untreated
  • Bacterial and viral infections that affect the joints
  • Inflammatory bowel disorders, like colitis and ileitis
  • The use of street drugs as well as prescription drugs
  • Congenital autoimmune diseases.

Types of Arthritis

The most common type of arthritis is osteoarthritis.  This is the type that is often associated with the process of aging.  It usually develops gradually over time as the cartilage in the body wears down.

The pain progressively gets worse, and the muscles may weaken.  Being overweight can aggravate the condition because excess pressure is placed on the joints.

The most serious type of arthritis is rheumatoid arthritis.  It is a chronic inflammatory disease that often has an acute onset.  Patients who have rheumatoid arthritis often have periods of inflammation (or “flares”) that alternate with periods of remission.

Patients often experience stiffness, fatigue, and pain.  Joint deformity can also result from rheumatoid arthritis.

Psoriatic arthritis is linked to a skin condition called psoriasis.  Psoriasis looks like dry, scaly patches on the skin.  However, psoriatic arthritis affects the joints.  This type of arthritis tends to be less severe than rheumatoid arthritis.  Skin flares and joint pain often occur concurrently.

Who Should See a Foot Specialist (Podiatrist)?

If you have foot pain caused by arthritis, you may benefit from seeing a foot specialist – they are trained in helping to relieve the common arthritic symptoms that affect the foot & also a variety of other conditions that cause foot pain. If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms, you should schedule an appointment to see your foot specialist / doctor.

  • Swollen joints
  • Pain or tenderness in the joints
  • Red or hot joints
  • Restricted motion in a joint
  • Stiffness upon waking in the morning
  • Skin rashes.

If you have arthritis in your feet, there are a few things that you should do to minimize your symptoms and control your pain.

First, follow the treatment regimen prescribed by your doctor, including taking your prescribed medications.  In addition, choose footwear that will support & cushion your feet and minimise your pain.

Visit Foot Solutions Ireland.  We have a wide variety of comfort footwear specifically designed with the arthritic foot in mind. We also stock a variety of arch supports that will offer additional support for your feet & help to keep you comfortable.  Check out Foot Solutions Ireland to learn more.