Arthritis is a disabling disease that affects millions of people. It is characterized by either degradation or inflammation of the cartilage and the lining of the body’s joints. Symptoms may include swelling, in one or more joint, recurring pain or tenderness in any joint, redness or heat in a joint, limitation of motion of a joint, early morning stiffness, and skin changes including rashes and growths. The three most common types of arthritis are: osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and gouty arthritis. Because each foot contains 33 joints and bears a tremendous amount of weight and pressure, feet may be more susceptible to arthritis than other parts of the body.
Causes: Heredity, age, excessive weight, viral and bacterial infections, prescription and/or illegal drugs, systemic disease, ill-fitting shoes, trauma.
What Can You Do? Wear supportive shoes on a regular basis. Begin a program of physical therapy, exercise or massage. Use ice or hot packs. Use shock-retarding insoles.
What Will A Podiatrist Do For You? Prescribe appropriate anti-inflammatory medications. Perform appropriate x-rays and joint evaluations. Recommend custom orthotics. If the problem persists, surgery might be necessary.