What Are The Symptoms And Early Signs Of Arthritis In The Feet And Ankles
Like arthritis in other parts of the body, arthritis in the feet and ankles is indicated by tenderness or pain, stiffness, and swelling. Often, the first sign of arthritis in the feet and ankles is persistent tenderness, typically in one or two small joints. Over time, these symptoms may expand to include a reduced ability to move or walk. Bone spurs may often occur, causing a lumpy or deformed joint. Less commonly, arthritis may be accompanied by tingling and numbness in the feet and toes, which is usually caused by nerve irritation over time.
How To Manage Arthritis In Hands And Feet
Having arthritis in hands and feet can obviously be miserable. The stiffness in your finger joints as well as your foot and ankle, and joint swelling, can make it hard to do even the simplest tasks.
Thankfully, under the guidance of a doctor, there are some things people can do to try and find relief from the symptoms of arthritis. Always talk to a medical professional before diagnosing yourself, or deciding on a course of treatment for arthritis.
Keep reading for some information on the different types of arthritis and some possible solutions your doctor may discuss with you. The information in this article is intended to inform you, but is not a substitute for medical advice from a professional.
Rheumatoid Arthritis Symptoms In Feet
If you suffer from rheumatoid arthritis in your feet, you may experience additional or more severe symptoms, including:
- Fatigue and fever during flare-ups
- Redness or warmth in the joint
- Swelling of the joints
- Being male, in cases of gout
- Being female, in cases of rheumatoid arthritis
Further, as HealthLine explains, if you wear tight, high-heeled shoes often, you may also be at risk for toe arthritis.
If you have any of these risk factors, and have been experiencing pain, its important to talk to a doctor. Cartilage destruction cant be reversed. Early diagnosis is crucial for treating and managing arthritis.
Also Check: Is It Osteoarthritis Or Rheumatoid Arthritis
Causes Of Arthritis On The Top Of Your Foot
Because the most common reason that the midfoot is affected by arthritis foot pain is due to general wear and tear over time, that means one of the top causes of midfoot arthritis is osteoarthritis. There are some other risk factors and causes as well. These include:
- Wearing tight leather shoes that push down on the top portion of the foot
- Post-traumatic arthritis due to injury
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Psoriatic arthritis
If you believe that you are enduring pain related to foot and ankle arthritis, seek out the professional medical assistance of our foot and ankle specialists at Rogers Foot and Ankle Institute in Saratoga Springs, UT.
These Exercises For Arthritic Feet May Help You Stand And Maintain Your Activity Level
Research shows that walking is good medicine for arthritis pain.1 But the most difficult thing about having arthritic feet and ankles is that walking around with that discomfort in your feet makes you want to stop doing exactly thatwalking. So if youre one of the many suffering from foot arthritis pain, chances are good youre choosing Netflix on the couch over a weekend hike or a walk in the park.
When arthritis pain strikes, use Voltaren Arthritis Pain Gel. It provides targeted relief from arthritis pain where you need it most.
Dont stop there, though. Strengthening the feet is a great way to reduce arthritis pain, explains Jordan Metzl, MD, sports medicine physician at Hospital For Special Surgery. The more strength you have, the better your feet will act and feel, says Dr. Metzl.
Want to give strengthening a go? Dr. Metzl suggests the following foot exercises to help reduce arthritis symptoms, so you can be active.
Recommended Reading: What Can Rheumatoid Arthritis Lead To
Consider Surgery For Arthritis In The Feet
Foot surgery can be helpful, but its not a cure-all, Frisch says. Sometimes problems can recur despite surgery, he explains. Surgery should always be a last resort when your pain is limiting your lifestyle and choice of activities. The right procedure for you depends on the type of arthritis you have, where it is located, and the impact it has on your joints.
There are two broad categories for foot surgery: joint fusions and joint replacements, Frisch says. If the problem is too much movement, you fuse it, and if theres not enough, you try to mobilize it.
Use Hot And Cold Therapy
Heat and cold treatments can help relieve arthritis pain and inflammation.
- Heat treatments can include taking a long, warm shower or bath in the morning to help ease stiffness and using an electric blanket or moist heating pad to reduce discomfort overnight.
- Cold treatments can help relieve joint pain, swelling, and inflammation. Wrap a gel ice pack or a bag of frozen vegetables in a towel and apply it to painful joints for quick relief. Never apply ice directly to the skin.
- Capsaicin, which comes from chili peppers, is a component of some topical ointments and creams that you can buy over the counter. These products provide warmth that can soothe joint pain.
Foot And Ankle Arthritis
Foot and ankle arthritis are general terms for localized joint inflammation. Arthritis of all types involves inflammation in and around joints, which often leads to pain, stiffness, and swelling. When smooth, cushioning cartilage in joints is lost, bones begin to wear against each other. Arthritis results from this progressive joint deterioration. Previous injury, like an ankle fracture, is one of the most common causes of foot and ankle arthritis because damaged cartilage can lead to accelerated inflammation.
There are 28 bones and more than 30 joints in each foot. This means foot and ankle arthritis may feel especially acute, even though the ankle is affected less often than other joints. There are a few common foot and ankle joints especially prone to arthritis development, including where the ankle and shinbone meet, the joint of the big toe and foot bone, and the three joints of the foot that involve the heel bone, the inner mid-foot bone, and the outer mid-foot bone.
There are several different types of foot and ankle arthritis. The important differences between these conditions are determined by the underlying cause and the speed with which the arthritis develops. See below for detailed explanations of many common forms of foot and ankle arthritis.
Coping With Arthritic Feet
- Steroid medications to be injected into the affected joints
- Custom-made shoes, shoe inserts, or arch supports to support your ankles and feet
- Physical therapy that includes foot exercises and stretches
Your doctor might recommend surgery if other treatments dont work to manage foot and ankle arthritis. Surgical options might include:
- Arthrodesis: Also called fusion surgery, this involves fusing bones together with rods, pins, screws, or plates. When bones heal, the bones will stay joined.
- Joint replacement surgery: Also called arthroplasty, this surgery is used only in severe cases. The surgeon will take out damaged bones and cartilage and replace them with metal and plastic.
Home remedies you can try to help you cope with arthritic feet include:
- Creams containing capsaicin or menthol: These creams may stop the nerves from sending out pain signals.
- Hot or cold packs in the affected areas
- Gentle exercises, including yoga and tai chi
- Foot massage
Making changes to your lifestyle can also help you to feel better and keep arthritis in your feet from getting worse. Lifestyle changes might include choosing low-impact exercises like swimming rather than high-impact ones , maintaining a healthy weight to keep stress off joints, and reducing or avoiding activities that trigger symptoms in the feet and ankles.
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Find A Community That Understands
Theres no reason to go through a psoriatic arthritis diagnosis or long-term journey alone. With the free PsA Healthline community, you can join a group and participate in live discussions, get matched with community members for a chance to make new friends, and stay up to date on the latest Psa news and research.
How Foot And Ankle Exercises Can Help
The following exercises can help improve flexibility and mobility in the feet and ankles, strengthen the muscles supporting your ankles, and prevent stiffness and inflammation. They can all be done while sitting straight up in a chair with your feet starting flat on the floor, and should all be done for each foot and repeated 10 times.
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What Causes Toe Arthritis
Everything from past injuries , osteoarthritis, gout, or rheumatoid arthritis can lead to toe arthritis.
Common forms of toe arthritis are rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. Lets more closely examine these and other damaging types.
Rheumatoid arthritis is often hereditary and can affect the entire body. This type of arthritis causes the foot arches to collapse and result in stiffness and swelling in the foot. As a result, the toes are generally forced into an uncomfortable, constricted position. Its the most common type of inflammatory arthritis and people who have it will often notice symptoms in the feet and toes.
Osteoarthritis can affect any of the joints in the foot, but it commonly causes arthritis in the big toe at the metatarsophalangeal, or MTP joint. The MTP joint is located at the bottom of the big toe. Toe arthritis can lead to the erosion of cartilage and cause stiffness and pain in the toe. When OA occurs in toes, its usually referred to as hallux rigidus.
Psoriatic arthritis: Psoriasis is an autoimmune disease that affects the skin. In some cases, it can move to the joints where it can affect the toes. Sometimes, psoriasis affects the joints before it spreads to the skin, but that is rather uncommon. If you believe you have psoriatic arthritis, early diagnosis is very important in stopping potential joint damage.
What Is Osteoarthritis Of The Foot And Ankle
A joint is a part of the body where two or more bones meet. Your ankle joint is where the tibia and fibula bones in your leg join up with your foot. There are 33 joints in the foot, but the big toe is the one that is most commonly affected by osteoarthritis.
The joints in your body go through a normal cycle of damage and repair during your lifetime. But sometimes the process your body goes through to repair joints can change their shape or structure. When these changes happen in one or more of your joints, its called osteoarthritis.
The ends of our bones are covered in a tough but slippery surface, known as cartilage. This allows the bones to move against each other. The bones are held in place by ligaments. Tendons attached to our muscles and bones help us to move around.
Osteoarthritis causes damage to the cartilage, which results in pain and swelling, and can sometimes mean the bones rub against each other as we move. Osteoarthritis doesnt just affect the cartilage, but can also cause damage to the bones, ligaments, tendons and lining of affected joints.
Osteoarthritis can affect anyone at any age, but its most common in people over 45. It affects more women than men. The risk of developing osteoarthritis is commonly linked to:
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Symptoms Of Arthritis In Your Feet
Like most other cases of arthritis, having arthritis in your feet can be painful. Some of the most common symptoms include the following:
- Pain when you move your feet or ankles
- Tenderness when you touch affected joints
- Swelling or redness of affected joints
- Difficulty standing or putting pressure on your feet
- Pain or swelling even when at rest
While these symptoms can give you a pretty good idea that you have arthritis, the best way to know for sure is to have a doctor take a look. Your doctor may use imaging technology, such as an MRI, X-rays, or CT scans, to confirm that you have arthritis in your feet or ankles.
Arthritis In Feet: Causes Symptoms And Treatment
Arthritis of the foot is inflammation and swelling of the synovium, the soft tissue and lining of the joints in the foot. An increase in the fluid within the joints is usually present as well. One or both feet may be affected.
This condition can develop at any age, but is most common in people over the age of 50. Arthritis currently affects almost half of the adult population in the United States, and its prevalence is increasing:
Although arthritis is a well-known cause of joint pain, arthritis in the foot or feet may not cause symptoms. On the other hand, some people with arthritis in the feet become disabled and unable to walk.
Because the feet bear the weight of the body, it is impossible for arthritis sufferers to avoid the foot pain that accompanies load-bearing, and for this reason the feet seem more susceptible to arthritis than other parts of the body.
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What Are Some Common Symptoms Of Arthritis In Feet
Common symptoms of arthritis in the feet include joint pain or tenderness, joint stiffness or reduced motion, joint swelling, and difficulty in walking.
There are 33 joints in each foot, any of which may be affected. The anatomic areas most commonly affected by arthritis are: the ankle , the hindfoot , the midfoot , and the great toe .
Clicking And Popping Noises
You know how it sounds when you crack your knuckles? You may start to hear similar sounds in your toes if you have arthritis. A grinding noise is a fairly common symptom as well.
These sounds are caused by the deterioration of the cartilage that typically cushions the two bones in a joint. As that cartilage wears away, the bones may rub against one another, causing these sounds.
If bone spurs develop, they can also cause clicks and cracks.
Contact Our Foot And Ankle Joint Experts For Relief From Pain In An Arthritic Joint
If you are experiencing pain, stiffness, and a lack of mobility in your foot or ankle region, you may have arthritis. When the pain is specifically coming from the midfoot or top of the foot area, you may have a bone spur from an arthritic joint. Any of these conditions can be very painful and difficult to live with. Rather than endure the discomfort, contact our ankle surgeons at Rogers Foot and Ankle Institute today.
Our podiatrists have the knowledge, skills, and training to make sure your foot and ankle arthritis symptoms are reduced or eliminated. We will examine your feet, determine the cause of your pain, and develop a customized treatment plan for your situation. to schedule a consultation. Contact us at 801-756-4200 to schedule a consultation today.
We look forward to getting you back on your feet.
Arthritis In Toes Is Manageable
Your toes contain joints that, like any others in your body, are not immune from arthritis. A variety of factors play a role in your risk for toe arthritis, but there are lifestyle and dietary adjustments you can make to reduce the chances youll get it.
If youve been having pain in your toe joint, speak to your doctor about potential causes and treatments.
Read Also: What Exercises Are Good For Knee Arthritis
Treatment Options For Foot Arthritis
There are lots of things we can do to help reduce the pain of your foot arthritis. Pain relievers can help with discomfort, while anti-inflammatory medication can decrease swelling in the joints.
Wearing proper-fitting shoes with support and rubber soles for cushioning is essential. Or we can make you special orthotic inserts or custom shoes to support your foot and ankle.
Specialized exercises to stretch the Achilles tendon and toes can help with strength and flexibility. Using canes or braces for support, and losing weight may improve arthritis pain as well.
Other treatment options Dr. Rambacher may recommend include steroid injections, fusing the joints together to lessen friction, or surgically removing any troublesome bone spurs. We also offer stem cell therapy to help regenerate new cartilage.
If you’re tired of arthritis pain in your feet making you uncomfortable and reducing your mobility, Dr. Rambacher is ready to treat your foot arthritis. You can or use the online booking tool to make an appointment today.
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Diagnosing Arthritis In Feet What To Expect At Your Doctors Office
To diagnosis arthritis, your doctor will ask you a series of questions about your symptoms, such as where and when the pain began, how often it occurs, and whether it is worse at night or when walking. Your doctor will also ask about past injuries to the foot, and what type of shoes you wear.
After a thorough medical history and physical examination, your doctor may perform a gait analysis, which evaluates how you walk, measures stride, and tests the strength of the ankles and feet. Additional tests may include:
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Using Medication And Natural Solutions
Joint inflammation is the chief culprit behind arthritis joint damage, stiffness, swelling, and pain. Reducing inflammation from arthritis can help to relieve symptoms. Arthritis can affect any joint in the body, but it commonly impacts fingers, wrists, shoulders, hips, knees, ankles, and feet.
Arthritis is commonly treated with prescription medications, over-the-counter pain medications, topical treatments, dietary adjustments, and other lifestyle changes.
This article discusses how to reduce joint inflammation and pain associated with arthritis, including types of medications that can help, diet to reduce inflammation, and natural remedies for arthritis pain.