The feet support your body weight and are exposed to the highest number of risks owing to their proximity to the ground. Thus, it is no surprise that they will have varying levels of pain from time to time. Some cases of this pain are related to prolonged periods of standing or walking and can be managed by simple massage and rest. Nonetheless, persistent and excruciating foot pain needs review by a podiatrist.
Arthritis marks one of the common conditions being managed through physiotherapy by a Singapore-based podiatrist. With over thirty joints and twenty bones, the feet are the most affected by this inflammatory condition, though it can also affect other body parts. While there are over a hundred types of arthritis, here are the common ones that might affect your feet and toes.
This often affects people aged over fifty years. It is sometimes called ‘’wear and tear’’ arthritis because it is caused by the wearing down of cartilage in the joints over time. It can also follow an injury to the foot that is not adequately managed. Deformity, pain, and swelling commonly characterize osteoarthritis of the feet. The joint where your shinbone and ankle meet and that between your foot and toe bones are the most frequently affected by osteoarthritis. The condition often affects a specific joint in one foot.
This is an autoimmune disease. This means that your body cells will attack healthy tissues believing it is diseased. Rheumatoid arthritis will primarily affect the soft tissue in your joints known as the synovium. The attack causes warmth, stiffness, redness, pain, and swelling around the affected joint in the ankle and foot. In over 95% of rheumatoid arthritis cases, both feet are affected.
This affects kids under sixteen years old. There are different forms of juvenile arthritis, but the prevalent one is juvenile idiopathic arthritis. This refers to a group of autoimmune conditions in kids that affect the joints. The growth patterns of the bones will start changing, bones will erode, and joints will misalign with this condition. Unexplained fevers, fatigue, swelling, and aching joints are the typical symptoms of juvenile idiopathic arthritis.
This develops in your ankles or toes after a traumatic injury. The injury can be one that occurred ages ago, and you initially dismissed it as healed. Dislocation of your ankle might, for instance, damage the joint cartilage and lead to premature joint deterioration. This will manifest as arthritis ages after the initial injury.
This results from the accumulation of urate crystals in your joints. The common risk factors for accumulated urate crystals include alcohol intake, family history of gout, and excess consumption of meat and seafood. Gouty arthritis mainly affects the base of the big toe but can also affect other small joints. The pain comes in sharp bursts, lasting for a few hours and lingering for several weeks.
For the management of the above types of arthritis, a podiatrist might recommend several options. The conservative approaches to treatment include weight loss, customized orthotics, steroid injections, and physiotherapy. Surgical interventions are the definitive treatments, but often the last resort.