Arthritis is a degenerative disorder of the joints. It leads to the progressive loss of cartilage lining the joint surface. It most commonly affects hands, feet and large joints, such as the knees, hips and spine. As the cartilage breaks down, movement of the joint is greatly reduced and can cause severe pain and swelling. Arthritis can also
be caused by a secondary condition, including diabetes, psoriasis, obesity, gout, etc.
In feet, arthritic joint changes are usually caused by foot and joint deformities, such as hammertoes, bunions, flatfeet, high arched feet or as a result of a trauma to the feet (running, injury, surgery, etc.).
What are the signs and symptoms?
• Pain and stiffness of joints
• Swelling, cracking and warmth
of the affected joints
• Formation of bony enlargements
within the joint
• Difficulty in shoe fitting
• Muscle atrophy
• Muscle spasm
Before starting treatment,
a proper assessment by a chiropodist/podiatrist or family physician is required. A management plan must be tailored to each individual. The goal of the treatment is to reduce pain and
inflammation and to maintain and improve joint function.
Treatment is usually a combination of lifestyle adjustment (exercising, reducing weight), heat therapy (wax baths, warm baths),