woman with foot pain

Arthritis is among the most common medical disorders in the United States. Simply stated, arthritis is an inflammation of cartilage and joints. People who are diagnosed with arthritis have extra fluid in their joints, which can cause discomfort and pain.

While joints anywhere in the body can be affected by arthritis, hands and feet are the most vulnerable. There’s a reason for that, too—your feet, for instance, have 33 different joints. And because you spend much of the day standing upright, there’s no way to avoid all of your body weight bearing down on them.

Who’s at Risk for Arthritis

Anyone can develop arthritis at any age. However, certain people are more likely to develop arthritis than others. They include:

  • Older adults, especially those over 50
  • People who’ve sustained serious or repetitive injuries, especially injuries that were never properly treated
  • Drug use, illegal and not
  • Anyone who has had certain viral or bacterial infections, like Lyme disease
  • Genetically-inherited diseases and disorders

Remember, though: arthritis is a blanket term. It can exist on its own or alongside a great many disorders.

Different Kinds of Arthritis

The term arthritis refers not to a single condition but to a set of closely related conditions, all characterized by the inflammation of cartilage and joints. The most common forms are:

  • Osteoarthritis. The most prevalent form in the United States, osteoarthritis is sometimes caused by an injury, and its onset is often slow.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis. This may occur suddenly and be physically debilitating. R.A. often affects numerous joints in different places and may be complicated by additional physiological symptoms, like fatigue and unexpected weight loss.
  • Gout. Caused by a buildup of acid in the joints, gout can’t always be felt, but when it is, it is often extremely painful.
  • Psoriatic arthritis. When the skin condition psoriasis spreads to or affects your joints, you have psoriatic arthritis.
  • Traumatic arthritis. Injury to a joint can lead to chronic arthritis.
  • Fibromyalgia. When someone develops widespread pain throughout their body including their feet, often the diagnosis is fibromyalgia. It develops often after a long illness, an accident, or chronic stress.

Arthritis Treatment of the Foot

The type of treatment for arthritis of the foot is dependent on the type of arthritis you have. Some forms of arthritis respond well to medications, while others can be managed through a change in footwear or orthotics.

Treatment for Injuries of the Foot

If you’ve had any recent injuries to your feet, getting those treated correctly is essential to preventing any further harm to your feet and preventing arthritis later, particular if the injury is on or near a joint.

Treatment for Other Foot Conditions

Like injuries, some foot conditions can lead to arthritis later in life if they aren’t treated properly. For example, big stiff toe or hallux limitus can get worse over time. Getting early treatment can help prevent hallux rigidus a more advanced and painful version of this condition.

Custom Orthotics for Arthritis

If your feet aren’t aligned properly you could benefit from custom orthotics to relief pressure on certain joints.  

MLS Laser Therapy for Arthritis

MLS laser therapy is a cold laser treatment that works at the cellular level to heal inflammation and reduce pain. It works very well to help reduce pain and manage arthritis of the feet and ankles.

Preventing Arthritis of the Feet

While you can prevent inherited forms of arthritis you can get immediate attention from a podiatrist if you’re having foot pain. Also, wearing footwear with a lower heel, that has good support, and an toe box that allows for wiggle room is essential for preventing arthritis and arthritis type foot conditions from getting worse.

Let Us Help You Alleviate Your Arthritis

If arthritis is causing pain in your feet, or if you suspect an old injury may come back to haunt you, don’t wait until your arthritis has progressed to its next stage—call or contact us online today. We treat our patients like family, and we’ll get you in the door and checked out as soon as we possibly can.

Dr. Rion Berg
Connect with me
A podiatrist in North Seattle treating families for over 40 years.