Arthritis is a broad term that describes a disease characterized by inflammation (redness, swelling, and pain) in the joints of the body. As the disease progresses, chronic inflammation can lead to permanent damage to these joints, resulting in restricted mobility and loss of function. It is safe to say that arthritis can significantly diminish your quality of life.
There are many types of arthritis; however today, we will discuss the most common type: osteoarthritis.
Osteoarthritis is a degenerative form of arthritis in which the cartilage between the joints in your body breaks down. This is usually caused by “wear and tear” or overuse of the joints accumulated over a long period of time. The most common areas affected are those exposed to the most stress or weight like the knees, hip, hands and spine.
Damaged cartilage within the joints makes movement painful and stiff. If you have osteoarthritis, you may experience a deep, aching pain in the affected joints, as well as morning stiffness and stiffness after resting. Moving your joints in its full range of motion and doing activity that engages the affected joints may be difficult and painful.
Although aging is inevitable, you can reduce your risk of developing osteoarthritis by maintaining a healthy weight, controlling your blood sugar, regularly participating in low-impact exercise, avoiding injury, and getting rest when needed.
How Does Osteoarthritis Affect the Feet?
In the foot, the most common joint to be affected is the 1st metatarsal phalangeal joint, which is the joint that connects your big toe to the rest of your foot.
If you’re experiencing arthritic pain, swelling, and restricted motion in the 1st toe, consider booking an appointment with a Licensed Chiropodist who can help by limiting painful movement and preventing further deformity. Your chiropodist may create a shaft pad for your shoe or tape the joint to limit range of motion.
A full biomechanical assessment and gait analysis will also determine an underlying biomechanical fault that may be exacerbating the progression of the disease. The best custom foot orthotic will control, stabilize, and support the foot, reducing stress and encouraging healthier joint alignments.