Arthritis is a chronic condition that is caused by inflammation of the joint cartilage. Arthritis in the foot can present with pain, swelling, redness, heat, and reduced mobility of the joints in the feet. Arthritis does not have a permanent cure but management of the symptoms of arthritis can include painkillers, anti-inflammatory medications, physical therapy, transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation unit, and steroid injections.
Arthritis can cause you severe pain and discomfort that can limit you from carrying out normal activities and reduce your performance at school or work. A diagnosis of arthritis is made by Dr. Clement Yeh using a medical history, physical examination, and laboratory and imaging tests to find out what is the exact cause of your pain.
What Can You Do to Reduce the Symptoms of Arthritis?
Taking mild painkillers like NSAIDs will help to reduce the pain that you are experiencing in your feet because of arthritis. When a joint on your foot is inflamed, you should avoid straining that joint. It is advisable to avoid the factors that worsen the symptoms of arthritis in your foot like alcohol. You can apply cold or hot compresses to reduce the pain in your foot.
Consider quitting smoking if you do smoke because smoking causes the blood vessels to constrict, leading to reduced healing. Being overweight puts a lot of stress on your feet and this can worsen the symptoms of arthritis. You should, therefore, consider losing some weight. Wear comfortable shoes that you can easily walk in when your foot is inflamed.
If you are unable to stand or walk with the inflamed foot, you can use a walking stick to reduce the pain that you suffer while walking. Mild exercises like stretching your big toe can help to relieve the symptoms of arthritis. If you are experiencing unbearable pain that limits you from doing normal daily activities, have a doctor check out your foot.
What Are the Causes of Arthritis of the Foot?
The cause of arthritis depends on the type of arthritis that is affecting your foot. Different types of arthritis can affect the joints in your feet including rheumatoid arthritis, gouty arthritis, and osteoarthritis. Gouty arthritis affects mainly men and is also triggered by drinking a lot of alcohol and roast meat. Gouty arthritis is caused by an accumulation of uric acid crystals which are an end product of metabolism.
Uric acid is normally excreted by the kidneys but in gouty arthritis, the uric acid accumulates in the foot especially at the big toe causing pain and swelling of the feet. Osteoarthritis is caused by wear and tear of the ankle joint, the big toe joints, and the joints of the heel of the foot. Osteoarthritis has a gradual onset and can cause bunions to form on your big toe.
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune condition affecting the joints in the foot and is caused by your body’s immune system attacking your own body. Rheumatoid arthritis is a severe condition that mostly affects females. Other causes of foot arthritis include trauma and psoriasis.
Three types of arthritis can affect the foot, and include gouty arthritis, osteoarthritis, and rheumatoid arthritis. Osteoarthritis is caused by wear and tear of the joints while rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune condition. Gouty arthritis is common in men who drink alcohol and eat a lot of roast meat. The symptoms of arthritis of the foot include pain, redness, and swelling of the foot joints.