Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic, systemic, autoimmune disease that affects the joints and connective tissue. RA is characterised by inflammation, which results in swollen, stiff and painful joints, particularly the joint of the hands, wrists, feet and ankles. Most people with RA will eventually develop symptoms in the feet, typically it starts in the small joints of the toes/front of the foot and works its way back, it is often symmetrical on both feet.
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease; this means that the body attacks itself. In the case of rheumatoid arthritis the immune system, which usually destroys bacteria and viruses, destroys the tissue that lines the joints, resulting in pain, inflammation, and stiffness. The cause is mainly unknown and may be contributed to genetic and environmental factors.
What is known is that certain factors may increase the risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis, and these include:
Foot problems are common among those living with rheumatoid arthritis, in fact, around 90% of people diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis will eventually develop a foot problem that is associated with their condition. Foot problems associated with rheumatoid arthritis include:
As RA is a systemic condition it effects the entire body, not just the feet, and many different symptoms can present as a result. Often pain in the small joints of the hands/feet is one of the first symptoms that may be picked up by a healthcare professional and indicate for them to conduct further investigations into a possible diagnosis of RA. General symptoms include, anaemia, fatigue, night sweats and general flu like symptoms. Pain within the joints typically initially manifests in the hands and/or feet in the small joints of the fingers/toes and is often symmetrical in both. RA can manifest and cause inflammation in other parts of the body such as the lungs and blood vessels but this is less common.
If you have rheumatoid arthritis and it is affecting your feet, it is essential to see a podiatrist. The following benefits can be achieved with podiatric intervention:
An initial consultation would begin with an assessment. During the assessment topics such as medical history, medication, and your foot symptoms will be discussed. The podiatrist will ask you what you would like to achieve, they will then examine the foot and formulate a treatment plan. Treatment will be mutually agreed, and the podiatrist will inform you of what can be achieved.
This may include:
If you have a problem with your foot or lower limb, and you are unsure whether or not podiatry can help you, then why not contact us. If you have any questions or would like to book an appointment then please email us at email@example.com or call us on 0151 558 0099.
For more information about the services that are available or to book an assessment please call 0151 558 0099
Our clinics are open Monday to Saturday 8am - 8pm. We can usualy see you within 24 - 48 hours. Sometimes same-day appointments are available.
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We are part of Chiropody.co.uk - We provide immediate access to a high quality, value for money bespoke podiatry service. Our podiatrists provide specialist treatments to meet the needs of individuals, case managers, solicitors, organisations, care homes, and sport teams.