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Foot Pain Caused by Arthritis


Arthritis

The two most common types of arthritis that are found in the foot are:

1. Osteoarthritis
2. Rheumatoid Arthritis


Osteoarthritis, or degenerative joint disease, is the most common form of arthritis found in the foot. It is due to:

1. The normal wear and tear that our joints undergo during our lifetime. The saying is true: "If you live long enough, you will develop osteoarthritis."
2. Or, it may be due to a joint injury. This injury can be due to over-utilization of the joint, a fracture, or surgery on a joint.

Caring For ArthritisThe most commonly affected joints in the foot are:

  1. The toe joints.
  2. The metatarsophalangeal joints. These are the joints located in the balls of the feet (in the forefoot area) the joints where the toes attach to the feet.
  3. The most frequently affected joint in the foot is the 1st metatarsophalangeal joint. When this joint has osteoarthritis it is usually called Hallux Limitus or Hallux Rigidus, and people may experience:
    • a reduction in how far the big toe can be pushed up (dorsoflexion).
    • pain in the big toe when it is dorsoflexed, or each time we take a step and "push off."
    • a "hard" bump or bone spur seen or felt on the top of the joint.
    • swelling around the joint by the end of the day, which may subside with rest.

The most common symptoms that one may experience are:

  1. Brief period of morning stiffness (15 minutes or less).
  2. Aching pain in one or more joints which increases with use, and is relieved by rest.
  3. Pain is not migratory. This means that symptoms are usually experienced in the same joint, rather than in one joint today, and a different joint tomorrow.
  4. The affected joint usually appears swollen, and this swelling feels "hard." However, there is no redness nor increased warmth around the joint.
  5. The affected joint is tender when you apply pressure to it.
  6. The range of motion of the joint is usually limited.

The pathology of osteoarthritis begins with an uneven wearing down of the joint cartilage, which may be due to: over utilization of the joint, an injury to the joint, etc. This produces a narrowing of the joint space, and finally bone begins to rub against bone. When bone rubs against bone we may experience:

  • pain
  • stiffness
  • decreased movement of the joint
  • swelling
  • bone spur formation at the edges of the joint surface
  • a grinding sound or feeling when the joint is moved

Treatment of osteoarthritic joints:

The most successful treatment is to protect the joint/joints, especially when we walk. This is the "Gold-Standard" of medical treatment the treatment most recognized by all of medicine to be effective. Protecting the joint/joints will ensure:

  • reduction in joint pain
  • significant slow-down in the progress of the disease within the affected joints
  • a reduction in the chances of injuring other joints when we walk.

If we have a painful joint (or joints), we subconsciously force ourselves to walk in an abnormal manner, so as to try and keep all pressure off of the painful joint. When we do this, we apply abnormal and excessive pressure on other joints in the foot. This is called compensation. This compensation leads to over-utilization of these joints, and new sites of osteoarthritis.

In 30 years of private practice as a podiatrist, I have successfully treated people with osteoarthritic foot pain using custom-made orthotics designed for arthritis. This is the only way that I have found to protect the osteoarthritic joints, and to prevent the normal joints from becoming arthritic. Our custom-made orthotics are designed using modern shock-absorbent materials which will absorb the shock of each step, rather than passing the shock on to joints in the feet. This will give general protection to all of the joints in the foot. To protect the individually affected joints we:

  • add thin but resilient and long-lasting padding under the joint/joints.
  • create depressions in this padding that the painful joint sits in, reducing the pressure applied to that joint each time we take a step, and allowing these joints to "rest" and heal.
  • Hallux Limitus and Hallux Rigidus are the terms usually applied to osteoarthritis of the big toe joint (1st metatarsophalangeal joint). When this joint has osteoarthritis it is treated by using a custom-made orthotic with a Morton's Extension under the first toe. This Extension protects the joint by reducing the amount of pressure we apply to the big toe when we "push off" with each step. The orthotic and Extension reduces the bending of the big toe joint, by allowing the orthotic to help the rest of the foot "push off," and allowing the big toe joint to "rest" and be painfree.
  • Maintain the foot in a neutral or normal position by preventing it from rolling in or out. This helps to remove excessive pressure from the big toe and the little toe joints. Our custom-made orthotics accomplish this with the use of comfortable balancers.

OurFootDoctor.com's custom-made orthotics for arthritis have consistently proven effective in accomplishing these goals, thus providing arthritis pain relief.

A pair of custom-made orthotics is the only conservative treatment that has proven effective in:

  • reducing the pain caused by osteoarthritis.
  • significantly reducing the progression of this joint disease.
  • protecting the normal joints in the foot from developing osteoarthritis, especially due to compensation.

Please click here to learn more about custom-made orthotics. Or click here to order a pair of OurFootDoctor.com's comfortable and effective custom-made orthotics for arthritis.


Rheumatoid Arthritis is a systemic disease which may cause inflammatory changes throughout the soft tissues of the body, not just the joints.

The cause of Rheumatoid Arthritis:

It is believed that Rheumatoid Arthritis is the result of our immune system mistakenly identifying the soft tissue membranes within the joints (the synovial membranes) as foreign bodies. This results in an inflammatory response by our body, as our immune system tries to defend the joints by destroying these protective synovial membranes. The synovial membranes are composed of connective tissue, so the immune system may turn against other connective tissue structures and organs, thus possibly affecting the entire body.

Caring For ArthritisThe most common joints that are affected in the feet are:

  1. The metatarsophalangeal joints. These are the joints located in the balls of the feet (in the forefoot area) the joints where the toes attach to the feet.
  2. The interphalangeal joints. These are the toe joints.

The most common symptoms that one may experience are:

  1. Prolonged stiffness in one or more joints (usually experienced in the same joints in both feet at the same time). This stiffness may last for one or more hours.
  2. Aching pain which becomes more severe with use, and may not be relieved with rest, or may take a considerable amount of time to subside.
  3. Classically this disease affects comparable joints on both feet at the same time. This is called bilateral or symmetrical joint involvement.
  4. The affected joints appear swollen and inflamed. The swelling is usually a "soft" spongy type of swelling. There is also an increased warmth felt around the joint.
  5. The affected joints are tender and/or painful when pressure is applied to them.
  6. The range of motion of the affected joints is limited and painful.
  7. The above symptoms are usually "migratory" in nature. One day one joint is affected, the next day a different joint.

The pathology of Rheumatoid Arthritis:

The synovial membrane within the joint becomes inflamed due to repeated attacks by our immune system. During these attacks a gritty substance is formed; it is called pannus. The pannus in turn erodes the cartilage, bone, and ligaments. This produces a "soft swelling" around the joint. Due to the erosion of the cartilage there is an even narrowing of the joint space. This causes bone to move against bone, which in turn causes pain within the joint. Eventually, the cartilage becomes completely destroyed and the bones fuse at the joint, producing a painful, swollen, inflamed, and motionless joint. In the balls of the feet we also find that the ligaments which hold the metatarsal heads in place are loosened or destroyed. This causes the metatarsal heads to drop, and become very prominent. They may become so large that they feel like rocks just under the skin, and they may produce deep and painful calluses. This makes walking painful and difficult.

Treatment of Rheumatoid Arthritis in the feet:

The most successful treatment is to protect the joint/joints, especially when we walk. This is the "Gold-Standard" of medical treatment the treatment most recognized by all of medicine to be effective. Protecting the joint/joints will ensure:

  1. reduction in joint pain
  2. significant slow-down in the progress of the disease within the affected joints
  3. a reduction in the chances of our injuring other joints when we walk. If we have a painful joint (or joints) we subconsciously force ourselves to walk in an abnormal way, so as to try and keep all pressure off of the painful joint. When we do this, we apply abnormal and excessive pressure on other joints in the foot. This is called compensation. This compensation leads to over-utilization of these joints; and eventually, we develop pain and osteoarthritic changes in these joints.

    In 30 years of private practice as a podiatrist, I have successfully treated people with Rheumatoid Arthritic foot pain using custom-made orthotics designed for arthritis. This is the only way that I have found to protect the arthritic joints, and to prevent the normal joints from becoming arthritic. Our custom-made orthotics are designed using modern shock-absorbent materials which will absorb the shock of each step, rather than passing the shock on to joints in the feet. This will give general protection to all of the joints in the foot. To protect the individually affected joints we:

    • add thin but resilient and long-lasting padding under the joint/joints
    • create depressions in this padding that the painful joint sits in, reducing the pressure applied to that joint each time we take a step, and allowing these joints to "rest" and heal.
    • Maintain the foot in a neutral or normal position by preventing it from rolling in or out. This helps to remove excessive pressure from the big toe and the little toe joints. Our custom-made orthotics accomplish this with the use of comfortable balancers.
    OurFootDoctor.com's custom-made orthotics for arthritis have consistently proven effective in accomplishing these goals, thus providing arthritis pain relief.

    A pair of custom-made orthotics is the only conservative treatment that has proven effective in:

    • reducing the pain caused by osteoarthritis.
    • significantly reducing the progression of this joint disease.
    • protecting the normal joints of the foot from developing osteoarthritis, especially due to compensation.

    Please click here for more information about OurFootDoctor.com's comfortable and effective custom-made orthotics for arthritis.

2001 Custom-Made Orthotics

A set of custom-made orthotics, designed under the supervision of our board-certified doctors, is just $179.95. A foam impression kit will be shipped to you for $39.95. When you order now, you will be billed just $39.95 for the foam impression kit. That amount will apply directly toward the purchase of your custom-made orthotics. Click here to learn more about how our orthotics are made and how they will benefit you.

Order yours from OurArthritisDoctor.com:

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