Causes Of Arthritis Pain In Feet

Awareness about the various causes of arthritis or joint inflammation in feet can help people suffering from it and their caretakers deal with it in a more informed and systemic manner. Many of these diseases may need long term treatment and care, making the role of awareness important to understand prognosis and expected consequences.
Causes of Arthritis Pain in Feet
Source - Wikimedia Commons (https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File%3ALegs_with_uric_acid_arthritis.jpg )

Arthritis is one of the most common causes of chronic pain in feet. However, arthritis itself is not a single identity, but a manifestation of many different diseases resulting from different causes. Understanding them and being aware of the cause in a particular case is important in treating that person. Being aware can be of great help in this regard.

 

Arthritis Pain in feet can be caused from a large number of different types of arthritis, most common of which are Osteoarthritis, Rheumatoid Arthritis and Gout.

1. OSTEOARTHRITIS

Osteoarthritis is a slowly progressing condition wherein pain, swelling and deformity of joints progresses slowly.

Most commonly it is due to the degenerative changes that are part of aging but get accelerated and exaggerated in DEGENERATIVE ARTHRITIS. In this condition the main joints affected are those of hip, knee, elbow and spine, but the joints of feet can also be affected. This condition typically damages the cartilage of the joint, which reduces the friction between bones and leads to injury of joints.

More commonly, osteoarthritis in feet can occur as a result of injury to any part of the lower limb which creates imbalanced pressure on joints and causes their chronic injury, swelling and deformity. Other causes of osteoarthritis in feet are congenital abnormalities of feet like FLAT FEET and deformities of toe such as HALLUX VALGUS, which also result in chronic injuries to joints. Other conditions which can also cause this condition in feet are obesity wherein the pressure of the body weight leads to degenerative changes, and diabetes wherein collagen formation is affected resulting in cartilage deformities.

2. RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS

Rheumatoid arthritis is an auto-immune condition wherein the immune system of the body starts attacking certain parts of one's own body including the joints, leading to their swelling, pain and deformity. It mainly involves the joints of hand and feet. In the feet, the joints are stiff and painful on getting up in the morning, which is the most characteristic feature of arthritis. With time, the joints become deformed and walking can become very painful and difficult.

3. GOUT

Gout results from high levels of uric acid in blood, and deposition of urate crystals in the joint. It develops slowly but

then suddenly flares up. The most commonly involved joint in Gout is the great toe, which becomes very tender, swollen, painful and shows redness. Joints of other toes and ankles can also get involved.

4. OTHER CAUSES

Apart from the above, joints of the feet can be affected in different other forms of arthritis, like INFECTIVE ARTHRITIS, resulting from infection of joints, PSORIASIS, rare metabolic disorders like ALKAPTONURIA, DIABETES and several other types of arthritis.

TREATMENT OF ARTHRITIS

The main problem in all arthritis of feet, apart from pain and swelling, is the difficulty caused in walking and the possibility of aggravation of pain and swelling by walking. Thus a major endeavor of pain management is to control pain and facilitate walking. The treatment of arthritis pain of feet consists of following measures:

1. PAIN RELIEVERS - The most commonly used medicines for this purpose are NSAIDs like ASPIRIN (ASA), IBUPROFEN, DICLOFENAC and NAPROXEN. NSAIDs have the additional advantage of reducing swelling because of their anti-inflammatory effects. ACETAMINOPHEN (TYLENOL) is another option for those who cannot tolerate the side effects of NSAIDs. Apart from medicines, hot and cold massages or topical pain relievers can also be helpful.

2. STEROID INJECTION in joints- This may be required to slow down the damage and deformity of joints.

3. SPECIFIC TREATMENT - In Gout, treatment for bringing down uric acid levels in blood and preventing further deposition of urates helps in alleviating the symptoms. In Rheumatoid arthritis, the DISEASE MODIFYING MEDICINES like CICLOSPORIN and METHOTREXATE will be useful.

4. PODIATRY - Podiatric advice about the best suited footwear, shoe insertions, care of nails and skin of feet can significantly help in improving the overall mobility and minimizing the injury that may be brought about by walking.
 



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