Arthritis and Your Feet

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Did you know that “arthritis” is actually an umbrella term that covers more than 100 disorders that affect the joints? Some of the better-known types of arthritis include: osteoarthritis, gout, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis and traumatic arthritis. With 66 joints in your feet, each of which has to bear tremendous amounts of weight and pressure, we at FL Foot Health want to be sure patients are informed about arthritic conditions and how to deal with them.

Who’s at Risk?

Like many medical conditions, arthritis has multiple causes. Some of the more common ones include:

  • Heredity

  • Age—prevalence increases with age—people 50 and over being most prone to arthritis

  • Bacterial or viral infections that strike the joints

  • A previous injury to a joint from sports, accident or trauma

  • Certain drugs--both illegal street drugs and prescription medications

  • Some bowel disorders such as ileitis and colitis

  • Congenital autoimmune disease syndromes

What are the Symptoms?

Although different types of arthritis may manifest in different ways, in general the disease causes inflammation of joints which results in pain and reduced joint function. If you have any of the symptoms below, you should contact a podiatrist to get your feet evaluated. (If you don’t already have a podiatrist, use our online guide to find a qualified one in your area.)

  • Continuous or recurring pain in a joint

  • Swelling

  • Redness or a feeling of heat in a joint

  • Limited range of motion in a joint

  • Early morning stiffness

  • Skin changes such as rashes or growths

Arthritis is usually a progressive condition that can become disabling over time. Fortunately, when caught in its early stages, there are a number of non-invasive treatment methods available for arthritis that can slow the progression of the disease and enable the patient to maintain an active lifestyle. To learn more about arthritis and other conditions that affect your podiatric health, contact us.