Arthritis is a disease of a joint capsule and articular cartilage. The most common type of this disease is osteoarthritis. It occurs due to mechanical damage of your joints. If you have this kind of arthritis in foot, you should know that its causes are related mostly to aging.
However, osteoarthritis can develop as a result of excessive loads on your feet or overweight. Even ordinary injuries, trauma and bone fractures can provoke development of osteoarthritis. Earlier scientists believed that with age our joints wear out triggering the disease. However, now it is proven that when we grow older, the elasticity of the articular cartilage decreases, which in its turn can be only a prerequisite for foot arthritis.
Actually, the disease begins when the cartilage wears out. In severe cases it can completely disappear exposing a bare bone. Arthritis in foot involves destructive changes of your joints. Healthy joints’ capsules have a thin synovial membrane that produces a lubricating fluid, which is necessary in the joint space. Lubricating fluid provides nourishment of the hyaline cartilage and is a reliable lubrication of articular ends of bones. With destruction of the cartilaginous tissue the entire process of normal functioning of your joint becomes corrupted. This leads to the development of degenerative processes that cause joint inflammation. Arthritis in foot joints requires urgent medical intervention.
Symptoms of Arthritis in Feet
If you have arthritis in foot, take it seriously. Do not wait for magical healing. The sensation of pain in feet is very unpleasant and keeps you from enjoying your life. Gradually you can even develop lameness. As a rule, patients try not to step on that part of their foot where pain is the most acute, for example on the top of foot. Sometimes pain intensifies, and you can notice swelling on your feet. At this acute stage it is difficult to fall asleep at night because of torturing pain. At times of remission you can feel pain ease, but later it increases again. You can relieve pain taking drugs that your doctor will prescribe you. At this point you may be tempted to try a home remedy you read about or a herbal decoction your granny offers you. Never do that! Arthritis has to be treated by a specialist with proper medical agents.
However, patients often do not pay much attention to early signs of arthritis in feet. They do not go to a doctor, believing that the pain will gradually disappear by itself, as if this is an ordinary trauma. You should understand that arthritis is not an injury; this is a serious disease that must be treated. For the best treatment for arthritis in feet it is mandatory to have an accurate diagnosis. It is important to determine the exact kind of arthritis. Visit a rheumatologist to find out your diagnosis. There are several different types of foot arthritis:
- Osteoarthritis or degenerative arthritis;
- Gouty arthritis;
- Rheumatoid arthritis in feet and toes.
Treatment and Diagnosis of the Disease
As you already know, for proper treatment you need to define a type of your arthritis in foot. The first thing your doctor will ask you to do is to undergo a blood test. Osteoarthritis is characterized by the fact that even though you have rather strong pain in your foot, there are no deviations in your blood, as well as other tests do not show any abnormalities.
Another common type of arthritis is gout. This disease has a long history. Gout begins when your body starts to accumulate crystals of urate. Every day some amount of uric acid appears in your blood as a result of cleavage of purine that gets into your body with food. Normally your kidneys filter your blood, excreting uric acid from your body. However, it may happen that your kidneys are no longer capable of performing that function and urate crystals begin to accumulate in your blood. They begin to deposit in different places of your body, but most of them deposit in your joints.
Men suffer from gout more often than women do. The first signs of gout include arthritis of a big toe. It becomes inflamed and starts aching. Your doctor needs to find out the initial cause for which urate crystals are no longer excreted from your blood by your kidneys. This root reason will determine how to treat arthritis in feet. Without understanding the nature of kidney dysfunction it is impossible to cure gout. Sometimes, if you stick to a special diet, it is possible to reduce the amount of sodium urate in your blood to such an extent that your kidneys will be able to cope with it. However, such a measure helps just to slow down the disease but does not cure it completely. Once the root cause of the disease becomes known, your doctor can begin a thorough treatment.
Rheumatoid Arthritis in Feet
Rheumatoid arthritis is the most dangerous form of arthritis because scientists and doctors do not know the exact causes of this disease. This type of arthritis can cause deformation of your joints. Very often it affects feet and ankles. A person with this disease often becomes disabled and can no longer walk. Rheumatoid arthritis typically occurs to several joints at a time, deforming your feet and causing pain while walking. Arthritis pain worsens at night and rapidly aggravates. Skin on your feet becomes red. At the current state of medicine doctors can not cure this disease. Medical measures usually include foot pain relief with medication or even surgery. It is noticed that all kinds of infections and complications of chronic diseases can trigger the onset of arthritis. There are natural remedies for arthritis, but they are not very effective. Arthritis is easier to prevent than to cure.
Prevention of Arthritis in Foot
No one is safe from foot arthritis, but to prevent this disease you should observe some simple rules:
- Monitor the condition of your feet not to miss the symptoms of arthritis in feet and legs;
- Wear comfortable shoes made from natural materials;
- Protect your feet from injury and permanent constraint;
- Treat chronic diseases, because even sore throat or chronic tonsillitis can be one of the causes of arthritis;
- Avoid gaining excessive weight, especially if you have thin bones;
- Monitor the state of your kidneys;
- Moderate your physical exercises;
- Do not smoke or drink alcohol.
It goes without saying that you need to maintain good health condition of your whole body and have an active lifestyle. Then you will be able to cope with all health difficulties.
Foot Arthritis Prognosis
If you have arthritis in foot, its prognosis depends greatly on control of the main disease and complexity of medical measures. With proper therapy and fulfilling of the doctor’s recommendations you will be able to restore your usual quality of life. If you do not start treating arthritis in time, you can face irreversible changes in your joints and have severe deformation of your foot that can lead to disability or complete inability to walk on your own.