Rheumatoid Arthritis Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment

What is Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)?

Rheumatoid Arthritis is a chronic condition that most often will affect the joints in the feet. The joints, muscles and ligaments of the foot over time get weaker and more and more unstable. Rheumatoid Arthritis is an autoimmune disorder that results in pain in the joints or soft tissues of the feet. The fluid that lubricates your joints is called synovial fluid and in RA, the synovial fluid is attacked causing an erosion of the joints.

Rheumatoid Arthritis – Symptoms and Causes

Rheumatoid Arthritis seems to be more prevalent in women, but men can develop more serious symptoms of RA. The body is in effect attacking itself and as a result, joint swelling, pain, tenderness and redness are common symptoms. The biggest differentiator from Osteoarthritis (OA) vs RA is that in Rheumatoid Arthritis stiffness of joints happens after periods of inactivity, whereas in OA it occurs after activity. Moreover, because it is an autoimmune disease, many Rheumatoid Arthritis patients will experience tremendous amounts of fatigue and some a low-grade fever. Sometimes, bumps on the skin or nodules may appear around the knuckles, wrists, knees etc where the inflammation has spread to the skin.

Pain in the Feet As a Symptom of Rheumatoid Arthritis

Pain in the feet is commonly one of the early indicators leading to a diagnosis of Rheumatoid Arthritis. The pain takes various forms such as stiffness, swelling, or aching and usually gets worse after long periods of being on your feet.

Foot and Ankle Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) Symptoms

Pain, swelling, and redness of the joint are very common symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis. As the day progresses, fever, malaise and fatigue are common during flare-ups.

Rheumatoid Arthritis: How to Relieve Foot Pain

It is common to receive steroidal injections to manage foot pain due to Rheumatoid Arthritis. Dietary changes and a change in footwear can also help to manage the pain from associated conditions like bunions or hammertoes. Custom orthotics and well-fitted orthopedic footwear also make a tremendous difference in alleviating foot pain.

Knee Rheumatoid Arthritis

Knee Rheumatoid Arthritis symptoms may not appear until years later from the initial diagnosis of RA. The synovial membrane gets attacked internally and as a result, the cartilage in the knee becomes damaged. The cartilage helps the knee joint to glide smoothly and when that is damaged it leads to a tremendous amount of pain due to the grinding of the joint.

What is it like to live with rheumatoid arthritis?

Rheumatoid Arthritis diagnosis usually involves years of pain and discomfort before a diagnosis. Depending on the severity, many have to live with steroidal injections or medications to help control the inflammation. Sometimes, all may seem fine and then a sudden flare-up occurs creating a lot of stress and anxiety and discomfort. Patients with RA need to be able to manage their nutrition and develop low-impact exercise routines.

What is the best treatment for rheumatoid arthritis?

Depending on the level of Rheumatoid Arthritis, there are various treatment options. If joint movement is severely impaired then joint rehabilitation and replacement may be necessary. There are several biological and steroidal medications that can help control pain as well. At home, many will use over-the-counter NSAIDS and a warm compress to provide relief from joint pain and stiffness. A diet low in inflammatory foods and a shift to low impact exercise will also make a difference. Assistive devices like orthotics and orthopedic shoes can also help to support the joints in the foot thereby helping with the load on the knees and back.

Is Rheumatoid Arthritis genetic?

There is no hard evidence that Rheumatoid Arthritis is genetic but there have been some hereditary markers identified which means that you can be predisposed to it in certain conditions.

How do you know if you have Rheumatoid Arthritis?

Blood tests and imaging like MRI are common tools to use in the diagnosis of Rheumatoid Arthritis

If you are suffering from Rheumatoid Arthritis, our Chiropodist in Burlington, Ontario can help! Serving the Burlington, Hamilton, Oakville, Milton, Waterdown Halton, Oakville areas of the GTA, we help you get back to healthy and happy living. Call us at 289-245-6624.

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