Arthritis occurs when the cartilage and lining of the joints become inflamed and surrounded by fluid. This debilitating condition affects almost 40 million Americans to varying degrees. Although arthritis tends to afflict patients over age 50, anyone of any age can be affected.
Arthritis of the feet is particular painful due to the weight-bearing work that feet perform. Patients affected by this condition often experience a loss of independence and mobility. Early diagnosis and consistent care can combat its effects.
Arthritis presents in two major forms. Osteoarthritis, the most common form, occurs with aging and involves the gradual, painful breakdown of cartilage. Rheumatoid Arthritis, the more crippling form, is a chronic inflammatory disease that primarily affects a group of smaller joints.
- Recurring pain and tenderness
- Limited movement of joints
- Redness or “heat” in joints
- Rashes or strange growths on the skin
Multiple treatment options exist for pain relief and lessening of symptoms. These include:
- Physical therapy.
- Anti-inflammatory medications and steroids.
- Orthotic inserts or medically-prescribed shoes.