What is Arthritis?
Arthritis is a disease characterized by inflammation of the cartilage and lining of the body's joints, and is often accompanied by an increase in fluid in the joints. Inflammation causes redness, warmth, pain and swelling. About 40 million Americans suffer from arthritis, and primary targets for arthritis are people over the age of 50.
Arthritis is a major cause of foot pain because each foot has 33 joints that can become affected by the disease.
Various Forms of Arthritis
The most common type of arthritis, osteoarthritis causes excessive strain and wearing of cartilage in the joints of the foot. Movement becomes very difficult and painful. Pain and swelling worsens while standing or walking, and stiffness usually occurs after periods of rest.
Another form of arthritis that also leads to foot complications, gout causes excess uric acid crystals collect in and around the joints of the big toe. The big toe is commonly the focal point due to the stress and pressure placed on the big toe during walking and other weight bearing activities. This often leads to severe pain in the big toe. Men are more likely to develop gouty arthritis than women.
This can develop at any age, and there is no known cause for this condition. The most crippling form of arthritis, this disease can affect people of all ages. Often causing severe deformities of the joints and associated fatigue of the entire body, rheumatoid arthritis can cause severe forefoot problems such as bunions, hammer toes or claw toes.
There are many causes of arthritis. Heredity plays a major role, but arthritic symptoms can develop due to many other factors including bacterial and viral infections, prescription and illegal drugs, traumatic injuries, and bowel disorders such as ileitis and colitis.
Forefoot problems such as hammer toes, claw toes, mallet toes, and bunions often develop as a result of arthritis, particularly rheumatoid arthritis. Problems can also develop in the heel and ankle area due to the erosion of the involved joints.
Prevention and Treatment
Conservative, non-surgical treatment of the arthritic foot includes proper footwear, orthotics, and/or forefoot supports.
Arthritic footwear can provide relief in a variety of ways:
Call 800.447.0151 or email us to know more about which PAL products are best for arthritis!