How Does Arthritis Affect Your Feet?

Mar 06, 2023
How Does Arthritis Affect Your Feet?
Arthritis is a painful condition that can affect the joints in your feet. Learn more about how it develops and how you can have a fully functioning life with this condition.

Arthritis is a painful condition that causes stiffness and inflammation in your joints. It can happen in many parts of your body, particularly your ankles, and feet, limiting your ability to move comfortably. 

Arthritis is a common condition. Some statistics show that it can affect several million people annually across the world. 

At Los Angeles Institute of Foot and Ankle Surgery, we understand how much pain and discomfort arthritis can cause, especially when it affects your feet. 

Our experienced team of podiatric surgeons offers specialized foot care for people with arthritis and other foot conditions in Burbank, Santa Clarita, and Northridge, California. 

Here's a look at various ways arthritis can affect your feet and what you can do about it. 

What is arthritis?

Arthritis is a condition that causes swelling and inflammation in your joints. It causes significant pain and can limit your quality of life by making it difficult to move around. 

There are many types of arthritis - the most common are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. While each type causes different symptoms, they can all cause severe pain and inflammation. 

What are the signs that you have arthritis in your feet?

Depending on the type, arthritis can cause a wide range of symptoms. Some of the symptoms each type has in common include: 

  • Swelling and inflammation in your joints 
  • Joint stiffness, especially in the mornings 
  • Difficulty moving around with ease 
  • Significant pain ranging from mild to severe 
  • Occasional numbness or tingling in the affected joint 
  • Redness around the affected joint 
  • Difficulty standing or putting weight on the affected foot 

How can arthritis affect your feet?

Arthritis, which can occur in any joint, commonly affects the joints in your ankles and feet, making walking and daily functioning difficult. 

There are around 33 joints in your feet, and any of those joints can be affected by arthritis. The joints in your toes, ankles, heels, and arches are most at risk. 

When arthritis affects your feet, it makes walking, moving, and even tasks as simple as putting on your shoes challenging. Sometimes, arthritis can also cause physical deformities like hammertoes and bunions in your feet. 

What types of arthritis can affect your feet?

Research shows that there are more than 100 forms of arthritis and related conditions. However, the two main types that can affect your feet are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. 

The underlying cause is the main difference between osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Osteoarthritis is the most common form caused by the natural wear and tear of the cartilage in your joints. On the other hand, rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune condition that causes your immune system to attack your joints.

How is arthritis in the feet treated?

Unfortunately, there is currently no cure for arthritis. The good news is that the condition is manageable with the proper treatment and some lifestyle changes.

At Los Angeles Institute of Foot and Ankle Surgery, we manage arthritis with medication and physical therapy to improve your foot's strength and flexibility. In severe cases, we might consider surgery to repair joint deformities. 

Let us care for all your podiatry needs, including arthritis, at Los Angeles Institute of Foot and Ankle Surgery. Learn more about what we can do for you by booking an appointment online today or calling 818-848-5588 for a consultation at one of our offices.