Effects of arthritis
Arthritis affecting joints in the feet can have far-reaching effects on other parts of the body; your ligaments, tendons and muscles are forced to work harder to maintain stability. This can cause overuse injuries including ankle sprains, torn ligaments and a greater risk of falls.
Another key concern for arthritis sufferers is chronic pain, which has huge effects on overall health. Severe pain not only limits movement, but also disturbs sleep and can lead to problems with mental health and overall well-being.
Osteoarthritis is common in older people, as it is a direct result of wear and tear over time, particularly in the weight-bearing foot and knee joints that have endured a huge amount of pressure. Osteoarthritis is a general breaking down of the joint and usually causes pain and discomfort around the affected area. You may also find that your range of movement is not what it used to be. Your ability to walk could also be affected.
Rheumatoid arthritis is an auto-immune condition that causes the body to work against itself, breaking down joints and resulting in pain, swelling, stiffness and deformity around joints. Rheumatoid arthritis usually presents itself earlier in life, but gets progressively worse over time, making it a much greater problem for older patients. Again, range of movement and mobility can be severely affected as toes can become deformed and hammered, making walking extremely uncomfortable.
Treatments are available to alleviate and reduce the symptoms of arthritis. We will carefully assess the severity of the illness and can recommend footwear, either off-the shelf or custom made, to give problem joints more room. This will reduce the risk of other injuries, such as blisters, corns and calluses that can be caused by shoes that rub on swollen areas.
Orthotics can also be specially made to provide your feet with extra support and stability, making it easier to get around. Podiatrists may prescribe an exercise regimen to help to keep the joint moving and relieve any stiffness and pain. These treatments can greatly improve your quality of life and your general comfort and mobility.