Diabetic Foot Care Advice

The aim of this blog is to help members of the public to understand their feet better. However the information on this blog should never be regarded as medical advice. Readers with foot problems are strongly encouraged to visit their GP if not the podiatrist for further medical assessment and treatment.

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Friday, June 20, 2008

Rheumatoid Arthritis And The Feet

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an immunological disease that impacts the joints of the body. The feet are not immune to damage caused by rheumatoid arthritis. With rheumatoid arthritis, the joints of the body become inflamed. Walking can become painful. Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic condition, however people inflicted with this disease may have extended periods of time without symptoms.

Rheumatoid arthritis can be treated, but not cured. Treatment is most effective when started as close to the onset of the disease as possible. The feet are often the first part of the body affected by rheumatoid arthritis. The front of the feet becomes painful and stiff. During the course of this disease, it can cause the toes to become contracted and curl. If this happens, wearing footwear with deep, wide toe boxes is important to prevent further problems with the toes. Therefore, any joint pain in the feet should be checked by a physician.

If the joint pain is rheumatoid arthritis, the doctor may prescribe a variety of treatments. Medication is typically prescribed for rheumatoid arthritis. Exercises may be recommended. Orthotics may be prescribed to alleviate some of the pressure on the feet.

Orthotics used for rheumatoid arthritis can be insoles or toe guards to reduce friction of the toes against footwear. The doctor may prescribe special orthotic footwear designed for people inflicted with rheumatoid arthritis. Splints, braces, canes, or crutches may be suggested and prescribed by a physician. If the rheumatoid arthritis has caused significant damage and causes pain or discomfort, the doctor may administer injections of corticosteroids.

Rheumatoid arthritis can cause bunions and hammertoe. The doctor may recommend surgery to correct foot problems caused by rheumatoid arthritis. Arthrodesis is the surgical fusion of joints. The person loses the ability to bend joints that have been surgically fused. However, arthrodesis can relieve the pain caused by rheumatoid arthritis.


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