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How Arthritis Affects Your Feet

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Arthritis affects the functionality of your feet by causing pain and inflammation. These problems can affect mobility, so you need to see a foot doctor to start the right treatment. Your podiatrist will diagnose your problem and find the best treatment plan for you, depending on the type of arthritis you have.

The common types of arthritis include:

•    Osteoarthritis: This results from wear and tear in the joint areas that are weight-bearing in the ankle and feet. Osteoarthritis is degenerative and often occurs in older adults, but it can occur in younger people with weight issues.

•    Rheumatoid Arthritis: This results from an auto-immune disorder that affects multiple joints in the body, beginning with the feet and ankle. Rheumatoid arthritis is symmetrical; It affects similar joints on both sides of the body.

•    Gout: Gout is often caused by the accumulation of uric acid in the blood that crystallizes and is deposited within the joints. You experience inflammation and severe pain in the joints as the main symptoms. Gout often affects the big toe.

•    Psoriatic Arthritis: This causes inflammation in your tendons and ligaments. You may experience intense swelling in your toes that can cause immense discomfort.

•    Post-traumatic Arthritis: This develops after an injury to your ankle or feet. Injuries like fractures and dislocations damage the joint surface, causing wear and tear of the joint cartilage.

Here are some of the ways arthritis affects your feet:

Stiffness

Stiff joints are among the early signs of arthritis on the joints and feet. At first, the stiffness is manageable. It can get worse quickly, affecting your mobility. Stiff joints can cause discomfort when moving around, resulting from cartilage breakdown. You will experience joint stiffness worse in the morning or after periods of extensive sitting.

Joint Pain

Pain is a common symptom of all arthritis types and may be the first indication of danger within the joints. Foot doctors will often associate the pain with increased activity that may cause the pain to come and go severally. The pain may persist throughout the day, but you will often experience more pain in the morning.

Swelling

Rheumatoid arthritis results in swelling around the joint area. Your synovial membrane, the tissue that lines the joints, thickens and becomes inflamed. You may experience fluid build-up in the area, which can increase the stress and damage caused to the joint. Swelling may push the joints to degrade more by eroding the cartilage more.

Deformity

Constant wear and tear in the joint area can cause the cartilage to erode. The erosion may happen in patches, affecting the joint’s ability to support any body weight. As you try to walk or move about, the ligaments and muscles in the joint area weaken, which can cause deformities.

Warmth in the Joint Area

Most patients record some warm feeling within their affected joints. Such warmth can be associated with inflammation and various medical conditions, so you should seek medical attention. A joint may get warm due to developing an infection, so the heat is a byproduct of bacterial or septic activity. Seek medical help before the problem worsens and affects your mobility completely.

Cysts (Mucous-Based)

After the inflammation dies down, you may notice cysts in the affected area. Cysts appear as sacs filled with fluids and often cause bumps or dents on the skin around affected areas. Mucous-based cysts are common in the toes and ankle area, affecting your ability to wear shoes comfortably. You should visit a podiatrist for further examination to prevent the problem from worsening.

Bone Spurs

Joint damage worsens as the arthritis spreads, causing bone growth in the joint area. The bone growth results from your body trying to cushion the ends of the bone by creating bone spurs. Bone spurs increase pain and inflammation, limiting your mobility further. This can affect joint function alongside the constant pain.

Find the Best Foot Doctor

Arthritis affects your range of motion and can result in intense pain and inflammation. To avoid the problems from worsening, you should find the best foot doctor to administer treatment. The doctor evaluates the type of arthritis you have and determines the best possible treatment.

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