Tuesday, May 21, 2024

What Does Rheumatoid Arthritis Feel Like In Your Feet

Can Rheumatoid Arthritis Affect Your Foot And Ankle

Arthritis in the foot (big toe) || What it feels like & why it happens

Rheumatoid arthritis in the foot and ankle is common. RA often starts in the small joints of the hands, wrists and feet. More than 90% of people with RA acquire foot and ankle symptoms over the course of the disease. In about 20% of patients, foot and ankle symptoms are the first signs of RA.

The joints of your body are covered with a lining known as synovium that lubricates the joint and makes it easier to move. In RA, the immune system attacks your bodys own tissues, including the synovium. It swells, gets inflamed, and destroys the surfaces of the bones that comprise the joint, along with the ligaments and other tissues that support it. Damaged, weakened ligaments can lead to . Bones can also lose density and become soft. Bone density conditions can cause or bone collapse.

Ask About Steroid Injections

Physicians often use steroids like cortisone to help with the acute inflammatory process and get patients stabilized. Cortisone acts as powerful anti-inflammatory when injected into a joint it can help reduce swelling and inflammation and decrease discomfort. When cortisone is injected, its anti-inflammatory effects begin immediately, but the length of time it takes to experience pain relief can vary from days to weeks. There are a lot of misconceptions about cortisone injections because there are different types of cortisone. Generally, Dr. Sutera says, you can have three cortisone shots in as many months before taking a long break before getting another round.

Make Sure The Shape Of Your Shoes Matches The Shape Of Your Feet

That may mean a roomy toe box to accommodate bunions or hammertoes, or an extra-wide shoe to reduce pressure on painful spots. Sturdy, supportive shoes are crucial to ease arthritis foot pain. Custom orthotics or a good over-the-counter shoe insert can provide even more comfort and extra support, adds Dr. Sachs. These inserts can help rebalance the foot, give your arch more support, and help cushion the ball of your foot. Talk to your doctor to determine the best footwear for you. Here are more tips for picking the right shoes when you have arthritis.

Recommended Reading: What Relieves Arthritis Pain

Ra Affects Every Part Of You And Your Life

There are days where my RA feels like I have sprained and injured every single joint in my body my ankles, wrists, knees, fingers, toes, ribs, shoulders and hips. There is not enough anti-inflammatory medication or a big enough heating pad to give me relief.

Then there is fatigue unrelenting fatigue all the time. I need more coffee to wake me up, and no matter how much sleep I get, I cant seem to get enough. I cant sleep my life away, and I wish I didnt need as much rest as I do. But I keep moving forward like a functioning zombie who manages to hide amongst the human race.

My rheumatologist isnt a fan of prescribing strong pain medications, but she knows me well enough to know that I am struggling. I put up with a lot when it comes to my RA symptoms and pain and most people in my life have no idea of my ordeal.

Id wish I could say I am proud of the fact that I hide having RA so well, but I am not proud of it. In fact, I wish I could speak up but speaking up changes everything.

Speaking up at least from my perspective would mean that I would be viewed as incapable at my job, as a mother, and as a human being. So, I dont and neither do others with RA because society has associated a stigma with RA, chronic illness, and pain.

Recommended Reading: Ra And Pain

Arthritis In The Toes

How does Rheumatoid Arthritis affect my feet?

Arthritis in the toes is often the result of wear and tear of the cartilage in the toe joints or inflammation of the toe joints. The big toe is most often affected by arthritis, but other toes can also be involved.

Common symptoms of arthritis of the toes may include pain that can take hours or days to resolve and swelling and inflammation in and around the toe joints. Both RA and PsA can cause significant pain and swelling. However, with PsA, the toes become so swollen that they can resemble sausages .

Additional symptoms of arthritis in the toes might include:

  • Restricted range of motion due to swelling or cartilage damage
  • Development of bone spurs, which can further restrict movement
  • Difficulty and pain with bending the toes
  • A toe that might bend permanently downward
  • Pain that worsens with weight-bearing activityrunning, walking, climbing stairs, etc.
  • A bump formation or sore
  • Pitted, separated, thickened toenails
  • Curling of toeshammertoe or claw toe

You May Like: How To Get Rid Of Arthritis In Wrist

What Does Osteoarthritis Feel Like

Osteoarthritis is a mechanical form of arthritis. It is caused by wear and tear. It results from joint degeneration and is, therefore, more prevalent among the old. Joints can deteriorate over time during your lifetime. With this type of arthritis, you experience joint pain and stiffness and these may also come and go. Any joint can be affected. However, the knees and hips are prone to more risk. The pattern is not particularly symmetrical. The joints are not usually hot or red and some people may experience swelling and feel sore.

The symptoms may be intermittent and can be triggered by your activity level or climate, like rainy weather. The symptoms, however, do not cause extreme flare ups and you normally should not feel very unwell. With osteoarthritis, your joints feel as though they are creaking or grinding.

The pain feels worse with joint use and it becomes better with rest. When you rest the joint, it may feel stiff. The bones affect your gait and posture. You may feel pain with activities like staircase use and getting up from a seated position. The pain also interferes with your daily activities and exercise.

Explain The Pain Is It Osteoarthritis Or Rheumatoid Arthritis

If opening jars becomes more difficult because of painful hands, or if climbing stairs produces pain in your knees, arthritis is often the first thing that comes to mind. The two most common forms of arthritisosteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritiscan cause similar aches and pains, but there are a few key differences between them. For example:

Onset. Osteoarthritis occurs when cartilage wears away. Pain occurs when bone rubs against bone. This type of arthritis pain tends to develop gradually and intermittently over several months or years.

Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis affecting 27 million Americans. Many people believe its a crippling and inevitable part of growing old. But things are changing. Treatments are better, and plenty of people age well without much arthritis. If you have osteoarthritis, you can take steps to protect your joints, reduce discomfort, and improve mobility all of which are detailed in this report. If you dont have osteoarthritis, the report offers strategies for preventing it.

Rheumatoid arthritis, on the other hand, is an inflammatory condition in which your immune system attacks the tissues in your joints. It causes pain and stiffness that worsen over several weeks or a few months. And joint pain isnt always the first sign of rheumatoid arthritissometimes it begins with flu-like symptoms of fatigue, fever, weakness, and minor joint aches.

Read Also: Can You Have Arthritis Without Swelling

Fingers Toes And Skin

Another telling clue is the presentation of the disease on the fingers and toes. With PsA, the distal joints will be the focus of pain, swelling, and stiffness. By contrast, RA primarily involves the proximal joints .

With severe PsA, the fingers can also take on a sausage-like appearance , making it difficult to ball your fist. While this can occur with RA, it is not the hallmark that it is with PsA.

Around 85% of people of PsA with also have the most typical form of psoriasis, characterized by dry, flaky skin plaques. Moreover, half will have nail psoriasis at the time of their diagnosis. Neither of these occurs with RA.

Recommended Reading: What Can I Do For Arthritis In My Hands

How Serious Is Seronegative Rheumatoid Arthritis

Arch Nemesis- Rheumatoid Arthritis & Your Feet

Its important to listen to your body and be aware of the signs and symptoms of RA, because the earlier we can detect this disorder, the greater our chances are of slowing its progression. Seronegative RA causes serious damage to the joints and bones because the body attacks the synovial tissues that cushion the bones.

Also Check: How To Avoid Arthritis In Hands

What Is Peripheral Neuropathy

Peripheral neuropathy is not a disease in and of itself. Instead, it is a general term that refers to a group of disorders caused by damage to the peripheral nervous system. The peripheral nervous system connects the nerves from the brain and spinal cord to the rest of the body. These nerves run to the limbs, hands, and feet, as well as the internal organs, joints, skin, and more. Damage on the peripheral nerves can cause symptoms like pain and numbness in the affected areas.

Peripheral neuropathy may be classified according to where nerve damage occurs. The most common form of the condition is polyneuropathy damage to many peripheral nerves at once. Mononeuropathy, on the other hand, refers to damage to a single nerve or nerve group.

Peripheral neuropathy may also be categorized by the type of damage and symptoms a person has. Carpal tunnel syndrome is perhaps one of the most well-known forms of the disorder. Carpal tunnel syndrome which is often caused by repetitive tasks, such as typing on a keyboard can cause numbness, tingling, and weakness in the hand, wrist, and arm.

Get Foot Pain Relief With Arthritis

Need some foot pain relief? If you are older than 60, you may find yourself saying Oh, my aching feet! often. According to the Arthritis Foundation, close to half of people in their sixties and seventies suffer from arthritis foot pain. In fact, the damage starts even sooner: Beginning in your forties, your feet begin to show wear and tear, explains Dennis Frisch, a doctor of podiatric medicine in Boca Raton, Florida.

Arthritis is inflammation in or around the joints that results in swelling, pain, and stiffness. It can generally be divided in two categories:

  • Osteoarthritis and other wear-and-tear types of arthritis
  • Inflammatory arthritis

Osteoarthritis, the most common kind of arthritis, affects millions of people worldwide. This type of arthritis occurs over time and by overuse. The cartilage between the bones at your pivotal joints wears away. As a result, your bones grind against each other, causing pain and swelling. Very often osteoarthritis also causes degeneration of the cartilage at the base of your big toe, resulting in big toe joint pain. Bony spurs then develop at the joint there, followed by pain in the big toe and decreased motion of the joint.

Arthritis in the feet causes pain and a loss of strength, flexibility, or exercise ability. For millions of people with arthritis in the feet, simple daily tasks such as walking out to get the mail can be painful. Eventually, walking may become nearly impossible.

You May Like: Remedy For Arthritis In Lower Back

Recommended Reading: Inflammatory Polyarthritis Symptoms

Circulation And Nerve Problems In The Lower Limb:

Some people with RA can experience decreased blood supply to feet and legs associated with atherosclerosis which can lead to cramp-like pains in your calf, thigh or buttock muscles when walking and other circulation related disorders such as Raynauds phenomena where the small blood vessels in the skin of the hands and feet shut down in response to changes in temperature leading to the following colour changes: toes/fingers go white, then blue and then red. These colour changes may also be accompanied by a tingling sensation in the affected areas. In rare cases people with RA can develop a skin rash, that may ulcerate, known as vasculitis an inflammation of the blood vessels. This is usually associated with long term disease, and the risks of it occurring are increased by smoking.Some people may experience problems with the nerve supply to their feet known as Peripheral Neuropathy . This may mean that they cannot feel pain or other sensations such as temperature and pressure, or they may experience pins and needles in certain parts of their feet as a result of a trapped nerve.The above are types of problems that are less common, and hopefully, you may never experience them, but you should be aware of the symptoms if they arise and inform your rheumatology Health Care Practitioner responsible for monitoring your rheumatoid arthritis.

Psoriatic Arthritis Treatment For Feet

Rheumatoid arthritis warning

There is no cure for psoriatic arthritis but there are medications that help control inflammation and pain. Each of these psoriatic arthritis treatments work differently, and your doctor will make a recommendation based on your particular situation.

Some of the most commonly prescribed medications include:

  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are available over the counter and by prescription to help ease pain and inflammation. These do not prevent psoriatic arthritis from progressing.
  • Disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs are available only by prescription. These drugs can prevent psoriatic arthritis from worsening and preserve joint tissue.
  • Immunosuppressants target your immune system to prevent it from attacking healthy tissue.
  • Biologics are a new form of DMARDs that target the specific part of the immune system triggering inflammation. Sometimes biologics are used in conjunction with another DMARD.

Doctors may also administer corticosteroid injections into the affected foot joints to help with pain, according to Gottlieb.

Read Also: Crippling Arthritis Symptoms

How Are Psoriatic Arthritis And Rheumatoid Arthritis Diagnosed

Unfortunately, thereâs enough overlap between these two conditions that diagnosis can be a little difficult, though a doctor may be able to know right away which kind of arthritis is affecting their patient.

For example, Dr. Domingues notes that the distal joints arenât affected in RA, so asking a patient about where they experience pain can be a useful tool. Likewise, if a patient has diagnosed psoriasis or crumbling, pitting nails and visits their doctor complaining of new joint pain, they probably have PsA, not RA.

Just as often, however, further testing is needed to truly determine whether the cause of symptoms is RA or PsA.

âThe good thing about RA is there are blood tests that can help us diagnose, but they arenât terribly helpful with psoriatic arthritis,â says Dr. Domingues. âThereâs no gene or blood test for PsA, but inflammatory markers can be elevated in both conditions.â

Radiology can also be helpful for diagnosing both conditions, Dr. Domingues explains: âBoth x-rays and MRIs can allow us to see inflammation and bone issues .â

Rheumatoid Arthritis Can Reduce Your Mobility And Quality Of Life Read On For Tips To Manage Your Painful Feet

What is Rheumatoid arthritis?

Rheumatoid Arthritis is an autoimmune disease that causes inflammation and pain in your joints. Rheumatoid arthritis attacks the lining of the joints, unlike osteoarthritis, which is caused by wear and tear to the joints. The symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis generally develop over a period of time, but in some cases can progress quickly.

What are the symptoms?

The pain most often associated with rheumatoid arthritis is usually a throbbing and aching pain. This it is often worse in the mornings and after a period of rest. As well as pain, your joints may feel stiff, especially in the morning. Because rheumatoid arthritis causes swelling of the joints, they may also feel hot and tender to touch. In some cases, rheumatoid nodules may develop under the skin around painful joints. Although RA mainly affects your joints, other symptoms include a lack of energy, fever, weight loss and lack of appetite.

Pain and stiffness in the hands and feet

The joints of the hands and feet are often the 1st to be affected. Up to 90% of people with this condition will report associated problems with their feet. The metatarsal phalangeal joints are most often affected other common deformities caused by rheumatoid arthritis are hallux valgus and hammer toes. The natural fatty padding on the balls of feet is often affected. It can slip forward underneath the toes, which can cause a sensation like walking on stones.

Others problems

How is it treated?

Read Also: Spinal Arthritis Prognosis

Statement Of Literature Search

For the development of this narrative review, publications were identified by a series of searches on PubMed between September 2020 and July 2021. Search terms included AND AND AND AND . Publications that detailed the characteristic clinical manifestations, comorbidities, pathogenesis, biomarkers, treatment recommendations, and differential diagnosis for PsA, RA, and OA were included. References that were determined to be irrelevant on the basis of the authors judgment were excluded from consideration. Relevant references that were cited within the publications included in this review and articles previously known by authors were considered on the basis of the criteria. This review is based on studies that were previously completed and does not contain any novel studies with human participants that were conducted by any of the authors.

Also Check: How To Slow Arthritis In Hands

What Causes Peripheral Neuropathy In Ra

How Does Rheumatoid Arthritis Feel? (My Experience) | ARTIST AS GUIDE

Peripheral neuropathy occurs when the peripheral nerves running from the brain and spinal cord are damaged or destroyed. This damage prevents the nerves from properly transmitting nerve signals to the muscles, skin, and other parts of the body, resulting in symptoms like muscle weakness, tingling, and numbness. Several factors may cause a person with rheumatoid arthritis to develop peripheral neuropathy.

Read Also: Ra And Pain

Invest In Proper Footwear

When you have arthritis, your shoes are either going to help you or hurt you, says Jackie Sutera, DPM, a podiatric surgeon in New York City. Proper fit is a key factor in how foot-friendly shoes are. Besides having to accommodate an arthritic joint that may have stiffness, swelling, and contracture, shoes need to fit the hammertoes and bunions that often happen along with arthritis. Comfort brands like Vionic, Ecco, Clarks, and Mephisto are designed to be stylish and comfortable. They include arch support, heel cups, thick soles, cushioning, and shock absorption.

People with bad osteoarthritis in the feet may particularly benefit from shoes with rocker soles, which have a thicker-than-normal sole with a curved heel. A shoe with this type of sole reduces pressure under the big toe joint by 12 percent in people with OA, research shows. In a recent study the pain score in those who wore rocker sole shoes improved by 22 points.

Popular Articles
Related news