A problem that will effect most of us sometime in life. There are over 100 different types of arthritis but we'll briefly discuss the 3 most common forms that effect the feet.
1. Osteoarthritis (O/A)
- O/A (also commonly known as wear-&-tear arthritis) is the most common form of arthritis in the feet & can effect any joint of the foot but particularly effects the big toe joint & the joints in the back part of the foot & ankle.
- it's easy to understand why we get O/A in the feet when you consider we take an average of 10,000 steps in a day, adding up to over 150,000 km's in a lifetime. The feet of a person weighing 60 kg absorb over 150 kg of pressure with every step (if you run, this pressure can be upto 300 kg with each step). This impact reaches over two million kg's of pressure each day. This places tremendous strain on the feet & ankles.
- there is currently no cure for arthritis. There are many treatments though that can provide some relief. Many medications are available (some natural & some on prescription) that can help, as well simple things such as soaking your feet in warm water with some oils for example.
- it is very important to wear good, comfortable, supportive footwear & generally the lower the heel, the better. Good support is paramount & so sneakers & walking shoes can be invaluable. Additional support to correct walking problems may also be required.
2. Rheumatoid arthritis (R/A)
- rheumatoid arthristis is a form of arthritis that occurs when the lining of the joints become inflamed. This inflammation causes the synovium to thicken. Fluid is produced by the the joint lining, which causes swelling and stiffness. Organs other than the joints can also be affected in RA and people with RA often have generalised symptons such as fatigue, low-grade fever and muscle aches.
- RA most commonly affects joints of the fingers and toes, wrists, elbows, shoulders, some joints in the neck, jaw, hips, knees, ankles and feet. The same joints are usually affected on both sides of the body.
- gout is one of the most common forms of arthritis or inflammation of the joint. It most commonly affects the big toe joint but can affect any joint. Gout usually starts as an acute attach that often comes on overnight. Within 12-24 hours there is usually severe pain and swelling in the joints.
- gout usually only affects one joint at a time (sometimes two) most often the feet and ankles and is extremely painful . The joint at the base of the big toe is the most common site. If there is no treatment the gout attach usually subsides in a week or so.