Arthritis - General Info
Arthritis represents a group of conditions involving damage to joints caused by inflammation. There are more than 100 forms of arthritis. The most common one is osteoarthritis and other frequent types include rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis and arthritis associated with autoimmune illnesses. Septic arthritis is another form of arthritis caused by joint infection.
Patients suffering from arthritis generally complain about pain in the affected joints. The pain occurs due to inflammation and damage to the joint structures. The affected joints are also stiff and patients frequently have to deal with fatigue.
What are Characteristics of Arthritis in Feet?
The major characteristic of arthritis in feet, as it is the case in any other type of arthritis, is pain. The foot comprises of 28 bones and 30 joints. Inflammation affects one or more joints. The pain in such arthritis ranges from mild to severe and its localization basically depends of the affected joint. It can be so severe and restrict movements or interfere in even the simplest activities.
Arthritis in feet also features with joint swelling. The swelling results from an inflammation of the joint and nearby structures. The fluid tends to accumulate around the joints and cause even more pain.
Redness and heat of the skin above the inflammation is another characteristic of arthritis in feet. The inflammation of the joints causes vasodilatation of the blood vessels and better blood supply to the affected area. Hence the redness of the nearby skin.
In case of rheumatoid arthritis of the feet there is a dissolution of the joint tissues. This makes feet unable to stretch and extend/flex the toes. The feet eventually start to gain clawed appearance. Such complication of arthritis requires surgical correction. This is one of the most disabling complications of arthritis and certainly one of the most severe signs of the disease.
Patients suffering from arthritis in feet commonly have problems with joint stiffness. The affected foot is unresponsive and the stiffness is most intensive in the morning. Once the foot starts to move the range of motions increases during the day. However the same problems occur the following day.
All the previously mentioned symptoms and signs together are responsible for the difficulty in walking. Many patients have significant problems when it comes to walking. This is typical for patients whose feet joints have been seriously damaged by the process of inflammation. Difficulty in walking interferes in every day performance and many activities.
Patients suffering from arthritis of feet must be thoroughly examined and the precise type of joint inflammation must be properly identified. What follows is an adequate treatment which is most commonly administered for lifetime. Only by controlling the illness the symptoms and signs as well as potential complications can be brought under control.