Foot Arthritis - Symptoms, Causes, Treatments and Living Aids

footarthritis

Foot arthritis is not its own type of arthritis but rather, it is the result of osteo, rheumatoid or posttraumatic forms of this condition. It presents with the typical arthritic symptoms, such as pain, swelling, inflammation and difficulty with movement. Certain activities, lack of rest or treatment and no supportive devices can enhance any or all of these symptoms.

Inflammation

Arthritis occurs due to an injury in one or more of the body's joints. In response to this, or any injury, your body begins to heal itself by initiating the inflammatory process.

This sequence of events results in pain, swelling, warmth and tenderness; all of these symptoms warn you to stay away from the injured area as to avoid causing further damage. In the case of foot arthritis, the inflammation is a warning that you need to rest and not apply pressure to your affected joint.

Swelling

A swollen foot that occurs with arthritis is just another way for your body to protect itself and to remind you to rest your injured extremity. The swelling acts as a barrier by providing more cushion around your foot while simultaneously keeping out any foreign substances that may cause further damage. It is also a result of the blood that rushes to the area so that an increased amount of white blood cells and nutrients can begin to heal the diseased part of your foot.

Limited Motion

Another symptom of foot arthritis is the partial or complete inability to move the affected foot during a flare up, as the swelling and pain make motion difficult. This temporary limitation is also due to the actual arthritis and can last for a prolonged period of time if you do not receive treatment or rest your injured foot.

The location of your limited mobility is a good indicator as to where the arthritis is, as an arthritic joint in the toes may prevent you from bending these extremities while arthritis at or around the ankle can restrict simple foot movements.

Pain

Pain occurs with all types of arthritis simply because your cartilage is wearing away, or has completely deteriorated, causing pressure at the joint or enabling one bone to rub against another bone. This is a painful experience that sometimes becomes worse by the accompanying inflammation, though one other comorbidity may be to blame for additional achiness.

Plantar fasciitis is a foot problem that causes pain around the heel and on the bottom of the foot. This condition does not always develop with arthritis, as you can have one and not the other because arthritis is a disease of the joint and planter fasciitis is an ailment that causes swelling in the tissue.

Relief

The symptoms of foot arthritis are no picnic but you can alleviate the harsh sensation and minimize the length of time in which you endure these troubles if you take some proactive measures.

For starters, make sure you rest your feet every day and talk to your doctor about using an at home foot massager or indulging in a hot footbath. If your health professional says it is safe, do some mild exercises to strengthen your foot and if necessary, use an assistive device, like a cane, crutch or walker, when ambulating.

Foot arthritis does not need to be an impeding condition that disables you or reduces your quality of life. Your body does age, no one can control that, but you can control the extent of a disease if you choose to live healthy and actively participate in your medical treatment. Do not opt to live with pain; if you are hurting, go see your doctor before you enhance the severity of your joint deterioration.

Assistive Devices Keep You Mobile

Power Wheelchair - One advantage of these over regular wheelchairs is that they do not require a lot of upper body strength to operate.

Walking Canes - provide the right amount of support for someone with arthritis in the hips, knees, ankles and feet who needs some extra support for balancing.

Stair Lifts for Disabled - when properly installed for your own special needs offer a safe way to access all levels of your home.

Home Wheelchair Lift - a great aid to people with disabilities who live or work in buildings that have more than one level.

Bathroom Grab Bars - position a short bar to assist you in walking, sitting or standing while in your lavatory.

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