There are 4 different types of arthritis that affect the feet. They are:
- Rheumatoid arthritis.
- Traumatic arthritis.
Osteoarthritis is brought about through wear and tear of the joints, and tends to manifest itself in 40 to 50-year-olds. It can be experienced earlier in life, although instances are quite rare. This often occurs following a traumatic injury.
Rheumatoid arthritis is what is known as systemic arthritis. This is because it manifests itself in several joints in both the hands, feet, arms and legs. Where arthritis only affects one or 2 joints, then the likelihood is that it is not rheumatoid arthritis.
Traumatic arthritis is so called many because it occurs after a serious injury has taken place; for example, a broken bone. This type of arthritis is similar in nature, and is responsive to the same treatments as for osteoarthritis.
Gout is not like arthritis in the traditional sense in that it is wear and tear of the joints. It is often brought about through poor diet. You will know you have it if you wake up with severe, acute pain in the joint of your big toe. It is extremely painful but it can be cured through diet.
It is possible to reduce the pain of arthritis at home. Whilst this is not a permanent solution (the pain will often return once the treatment stops) it can offer temporary relief. There are 3 stages involved.
Stage one - Reducing Any Inflammation
There are several treatments can be used to reduce arthritic inflammation. They are:
- The use of ice. This treatment (which can be administered at home), involves the application of ice to the joint or joints in question. You should apply an ice pack to the affected areas, for between 15 and 20 minutes, twice each day.
- Non steroid anti-inflammatory drugs. These are usually referred to as NSAIDs, a typical example being ibuprofen. Whilst these are available over-the-counter. You should consult your doctor in the first place before taking.
- Injecting a steroid solution. If the pain does not recede, then you should consult your doctor and ask all about having a steroid injection, such as Cortazone.
- Orthotics - you can buy a rigid pair of Orthotics over the counter at most pharmacies. These can help to alleviate the stress that you put your foot under and helped to reduce the pain.
The solutions listed above are by nature temporary. However, they can become permanent if you successfully address the cause of your arthritis. Here are 3 courses of action that you can consider taking to address the cause.
Weight Loss - arthritis can be brought about through obesity. By reducing your weight, you will be reducing the amount of stress that you subject your joints to.
Made to Measure Orthotics - off-the-shelf Orthotics may not address the problem, unless they are a perfect fit. You may need to consider having them custom-made, although these will obviously cost more.
Stretching exercises - stretching exercises can be very useful in helping to work the plantar fascia on the sole of your foot, your calves, your hamstrings, and your Achilles tendon.
Jody is a health care professional and currently works for The Arthritic Association. A charity setup how help provide natural, drug free pain relief for sufferers of arthritis.