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How Arthritis Affects the Feet
Arthritis can be extremely painful and can massively impact your day-to-day life. Although there is no cure, it is possible to alleviate the symptoms. From your fingers to your toes, arthritis can develop anywhere in the body and should be treated with care. Arthritic feet are especially discomforting, so here’s everything you need to know.
What is arthritis?
It involves inflammation of one or more of your joints. It can cause pain and stiffness in any joint of the body. This can affect your ability to carry out normal activities.
It’s common to get arthritis in the small joints of the foot and ankle. Given that we use our feet a great deal, knowing the symptoms and how to treat them is essential in order to reduce discomfort.
These are the 5 most common types of arthritic feet that affect the foot and ankle:
Also known as "wear-and-tear" arthritis. This is the most common type. Doctors also call it degenerative joint disease or age-related arthritis. Osteoarthritis usually causes changes over many years.
This is one of the most serious forms. It’s an autoimmune disease in which your immune system attacks the joint. It usually happens in the same joint on both sides of your body.
This happens when you have a build-up of uric acid from your diet. It’s most common in your big toe.
This type of arthritic feet can happen in one or more joints, including your ankles and the ends of your toes. It may also cause toe swelling.
This happens after an injury, especially a dislocation or bone fracture. You might not notice problems for years and then you begin to see swelling and feel pain.
The main symptoms of arthritic feet are:
- Tenderness or pain.
- Reduced ability to move or walk.
- Stiffness in the joint.
- Swelling in the joint
A podiatrist can help with arthritis in the feet in the following ways:
- Pads or arch supports in your shoes.
- Shoe inserts that support your ankle and foot (orthotics)
- Provide stretches and exercises to help maintain flexibility.
- Custom-fitted footwear.
- Podiatry care for corns and callous that may develop due to painful joints causing lesions.
If you are experiencing any symptoms of arthritic feet, then it’s important to book an appointment with a podiatrist. Our talented footcare experts can assess your feet and recommend the best treatment. You can request an appointment HERE.
A GP can help in the following ways:
- Steroid medications injected into your joints
- Anti-inflammatory drugs to help with swelling.
- Pain relievers.
- Surgery referral in extreme cases
It is essential that footwear is adequately fitted with arthritic feet. We have several footwear ranges that are especially designed to fit well and provide comfort. These ranges include Joya, Vionic and Strive.
When choosing footwear, you should ensure that:
- Seams are not prominent. If they are, they have potential to cause irritation to areas of the foot.
- Shoes should be bought later in the day to account for swelling in the feet.
- Wide toe box allows the toes to lie straight and move freely.
- Fit the shoe to the shape of the foot. Adjustable fastenings over the instep should hold the foot firmly into the heel of the shoe to prevent forward movement.
Many of our shoes at Shuropody are approved by The Healthy Footwear Guide. This means that they ensure a comfortable fit that promotes healthy walking. If you suffer from arthritic feet, having properly fitted shoes is important. You can view the range here.