Types of Arthritis and Your Feet

Definition

Osteoarthritis (OA) is one of the oldest and most common forms of arthritis. Known as the “wear-and-tear” kind of arthritis, OA is a chronic condition characterized by the breakdown of the joint’s cartilage. Cartilage is the part of the joint that cushions the ends of the bones and allows easy movement of joints. The breakdown of cartilage causes the bones to rub against each other, causing stiffness, pain and loss of movement in the joint.

Osteoarthritis is known by many different names, including degenerative joint disease, ostoarthrosis, hypertrophic arthritis and degenerative arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic disease, mainly characterized by inflammation of the lining, or synovium, of the joints. It can lead to long-term joint damage, resulting in chronic pain, loss of function and disability.

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) progresses in three stages. The first stage is the swelling of the synovial lining, causing pain, warmth, stiffness, redness and swelling around the joint. Second is the division and growth of cells which causes the synovium to thicken. In the third stage, the inflamed cells release enzymes that may digest bone and cartilage, often causing the involved joint to lose its shape and alignment, more pain, and loss of movement.

Because it is a chronic disease, RA continues indefinitely and may not go away. RA is a systemic disease, which means it can affect other organs in the body

Treatment

There are a number of different ways to effectively treat arthritis. Start by consulting with your doctor. There are number of different medicines that can be prescribed by a doctor to help control the affects of arthritis.

Wearing proper shoes and a soft orthotic can maximize the comfort of an arthritic foot. For more information go to the Arthritis Foundation at, www.arthritis.org.

What people are saying

Dear Footworks,