Arthritis and the legs & feet:
There are many different types of arthritis that can affect our legs and feet. The two most common types of arthritis are Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid (or Inflammatory) Arthritis, both are quite distinct from each other but both can cause a great deal of pain and disability as a result of how they affect your legs and feet. Your podiatrist or chiropodist can help manage the problems that arise in your feet and legs due to arthritis, depending upon your individual symptoms.
OSTEOARTHRITIS (OA): affects the joints by causing mild inflammation, damage to the cartilage and it can cause extra bone growth around the edges of your joints. These changes can cause pain and reduce the amount of movement in the affected joint. In the lower limb the hip, knee and joint at the base of the big toe are most commonly affected. It more common in women and in adults over the age of 50 years, but can affect younger people too.
RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS (RA): cause pain and swelling in the joints making them feel stiff and very tender to touch. RA can also make you feel very tired and unwell, generally. RA is an ‘autoimmune’ disease, that is the body’s own immune system attacks the cells that line your joint. In the lower limb the small joints of the feet known as ‘metatarso-phalangeal joints’ (at the base of your toes) are commonly affected, but it can also affect other joints in the feet too. It is more common in women and tends affect people between the ages of 40-70 years. It can however affect younger people too.
If you want more information about any kind of arthritis and how they can affect your feet, the web links below will provide you with a wealth of advice and resources about arthritis generally and Rheumatoid Arthritis specifically (NRAS).
Sporting activity places a huge amount of stress on our feet and legs. If training or sporting activity of any nature is not undertaken with due care (such as following a recommended training schedule if you are hoping to complete a 10k run and have never run before) then you may increase your risk of developing an injury. Wearing the right footwear, correction of functional problems such as over pronation, using kit correctly, following training advice (such as resisting the urge to over train) and warming up/cooling down pre and post-exercise can help reduce this risk. Common sports related injuries include: Plantar Fasciitis, Achilles Tendonitis, Stress Fractures, Shin Splints and Knee injuries (such as runners knee).
Podiatrists and chiropodists can diagnose these conditions and develop a management plan that fits in with the needs of the individual. They may also refer you to a Sports Physiotherapist in order to provide a comprehensive package of care. The link below will take you to the Worsley Physio web site ‘Athlete Matters’ where you can access fact sheets relating to the signs/symptoms and injury advice for some of the more common sports injuries.