A Closer Look at How Arthritis Can Impact Your Feet

Your feet have some of the highest concentrations of bones and joints in your body — 28 bones and 30 joints to be exact. This complex network of bones and joints works to bear your body weight, absorb shock, help you balance, and propel you forward as you walk and run. 

For all the work they do, your feet are, unfortunately, vulnerable to degenerative conditions like arthritis. 

Dr. Kelly Geoghan specializes in treating a wide variety of foot conditions from fungus to bunions, and she can help you find relief from your arthritis pain. Here are a few ways arthritis impacts your feet, so you can easily identify the warning signs and get help quickly. 

Arthritis and your feet

There are nearly 100 different types of arthritis that can impact virtually any joint in your body. But though there are many variations, they have one thing in common — they cause painful inflammation and swelling in your joints and the surrounding tissues. 

Here are some of the types of arthritis that impact your feet.

Osteoarthritis

This is the most common form of arthritis. It occurs when the slippery, cushioning substance between your joints called cartilage wears down over time, leaving your bones to rub against each other. 

Osteoarthritis typically affects the three joints involving your heel bone and the inner and outer mid-foot bones. It can also damage the joints of your big toe, foot bone, and the joint where your ankle and shinbone meet. 

Rheumatoid arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis is a more serious type of arthritis because it stems from an autoimmune disease. Autoimmune diseases are conditions where your immune system malfunctions, becomes over-aggressive and attacks healthy tissues and cells, including your joints. 

When rheumatoid arthritis is present in your feet, you typically experience symptoms in the same joints on both sides of your body. 

Gout

This type of arthritis occurs when uric acid builds up in your joints and causes painful inflammation, redness, and joint stiffness, most often in your big toe. Gout is typically the result of a poor diet that consists mainly of red meat. 

When your body breaks down purines, which can be found in certain foods, it produces uric acid. If you have high levels of uric acid, it turns into crystals that build up in your joint. Gout is linked to risk factors such as obesity, hypertension, genetics, certain medications, and age, but one of the main culprits is diet. Foods high in purines, including red meat, seafood, beer, and sugary drinks, can elevate the purines in your blood and lead to gout. 

Warning signs of arthritis

We’ve all experienced general foot pain at some point in our lives after standing for long periods of time or from an injury, but how do you know when your foot pain is pointing to a more serious condition like arthritis? 

Some common arthritis symptoms include:

Ignoring any of these warning signs and neglecting to get treatment could result in permanent joint damage and mobility issues. 

Treating your arthritis

Whether your symptoms have developed gradually over time or you suffer from sudden attacks of pain, Dr. Geoghan has the comprehensive treatments you need to get quick, lasting relief. 

Before recommending a treatment plan, she conducts a thorough evaluation of your symptoms and orders imaging tests to see the full extent of your arthritis. 

Depending on your needs, Dr. Geoghan may suggest any of the following treatments:

All of our treatments are non- or minimally invasive, helping you regain mobility and find relief from symptoms quickly. 

If you’d like more information, request an appointment online or over the phone to get started with your arthritis treatment. 

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