Nobody deserves to live in discomfort. When it comes to rheumatoid arthritis, the effects can be severe – so severe that even moving or going about life’s regular routine can be painful, difficult, and even insurmountable. Visiting a podiatrist, however, could be the solution you’ve been waiting for. If you’ve been diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis and can feel the effects within the joints of your foot, booking an appointment at a podiatry clinic is the first step towards revitalising your health and well-being. Continue reading as we break down how podiatry can help your rheumatoid arthritis.
This blog outlines the effects of rheumatoid arthritis and how podiatry offers invaluable treatment options for patients. For personalised health advice, contact our team at Foot Health Clinic today.
What is Rheumatoid Arthritis?
When many people hear the word ‘arthritis’, they picture a ‘wear and tear’ of the joints. This is certainly applicable to osteoarthritis, which is a degenerative disorder that increases its prevalence with age, but rheumatoid arthritis is different. This autoimmune disorder involves the body’s immune system attacking the tissues of the joint, causing inflammation and degeneration through the bone, ligaments, tendons, and other supporting muscles.
This damage particularly affects the smaller joints in the body. Fingers, toes, and the balls of the feet can undergo significant pain. Lack of mobility and inflammation in these areas can make simple tasks such as walking or working extremely uncomfortable, considerably limiting day-to-day function.
Common Symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis
Rheumatoid arthritis can be extremely painful. Depending on the patient, symptoms can vary from mild to severe, and often will grow worse over time. The first symptom commonly noticed is the swelling of the joints, which may involve some swelling and pain. As the condition progresses, inflammation will begin to cause damage to the cartilage around the joint, which increases pain and restricts mobility.
Many people will experience flares of pain. As bones within the joints begin to undergo damage, the pain of the bones rubbing together will increase, not only present during the flares of discomfort but also throughout the day. Muscles will likely weaken as well, especially as you begin to avoid the use of your joints due to the associated pain. As rheumatoid arthritis progresses, some people will see their joints permanently set in a new position, with long-lasting pain and extremely restricted mobility.
What Causes Rheumatoid Arthritis?
There are a variety of reasons why rheumatoid arthritis may suddenly present itself. Unlike other forms of arthritis, age is not necessarily a defining factor – people of all ages may develop the condition at some stage. For many, a genetic predisposition may be the defining factor leading to diagnosis. If your family has a history of rheumatoid arthritis, you may be more likely to develop it yourself.
Rheumatoid arthritis could also develop following a viral infection, or often with no definitive reason whatsoever. It can be difficult to predict whether you’re going to experience it one day, but even if you find yourself suddenly impacted by the condition, there are treatment options to protect your body for many years to come.
How Podiatry Can Help
A podiatrist is an expert on everything to do with your feet. Podiatry is used to identify, diagnose, and treat a broad range of foot and leg disorders, including rheumatoid arthritis. There are several ways working with a podiatrist can help with your condition. Ultimately, they are there to reduce foot pain, improve and maintain function, and protect your foot from undergoing any further damage to tissue and joints down the track. By receiving treatment early, you lessen the chance of your rheumatoid arthritis causing irreversible damage.
Possible Treatment Options
Technology has been developing and improving vastly over the past several years, meaning podiatrists have access to an array of beneficial treatment options to support patients experiencing foot pain. When you visit a podiatrist, they will be able to assess the level of damage rheumatoid arthritis has caused your foot and decide what will best increase your comfort levels throughout the day.
Some of the treatments available at a podiatry clinic may include:
- Redistribution techniques to lessen pressure on the ball of the foot
- Easing of pain associated with misaligned toes and joints
- Cushioning for tender corns and calluses that may form under the foot
- Removing corns and calluses altogether
- Exercises to improve the structural alignments of the foot
- Supplement loss of foot padding
- Providing custom orthotics to make walking and exercising more comfortable for your foot
Contact Foot Health Clinic Today to Treat Your Rheumatoid Arthritis
Don’t let your arthritis define your life. If you suffer from rheumatoid arthritis of any severity, there are solutions out there that could increase your comfort and protect your body in the long run. Our podiatrists in Brisbane Northside is ready to assess your foot and find a treatment solution that works for you. Contact us today to book your first appointment, and we will work together to limit the impact of your rheumatoid arthritis. Your body will be thanking you!