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Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis, frequently called degenerative joint disease or "wear and tear" arthritis. As we age, our cartilage breaks down, accompanied by weakening and deteriorating muscles. The pain from arthritis gets progressively worse, and dull, throbbing nighttime pain is characteristic. Osteoarthritis is frequently an inherited disorder.
Overweight and obese individuals are particularly susceptible to osteoarthritis. Their additional body weight puts stress on the lower joints, contributes to the deterioration of cartilage, and to the development of bone spurs.
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disorder, in which the body's immune system mistakenly attacks its own healthy tissue in the joints, surrounding tissues, and the organs. It is a severely crippling disorder, part of a complex, chronic inflammatory group of diseases, which can affect any joint in the body. The cause of RA is unknown.
If the feet seem more susceptible to arthritis than other parts of the body, it's because each foot has 33 joints which can be affected, and there is no way to avoid the body weight's load on the feet, which aggravates the affected joints. Arthritic feet can result in loss of mobility and pain, but these may be avoided with early diagnosis and a treatment plan from your podiatrist.
Your podiatrist at PA Foot and Ankle Associates may recommend one or more of these treatments to manage the arthritis in your foot and ankle: