Arthritis is an inflammation of the cartilage and lining of the joints. Although it can present itself at any age, arthritis is primarily found in those over 50.
Each foot has 33 joints, making them easy targets for arthritis. In some cases, arthritis can be extremely painful and debilitating.
There are two types of arthritis: Osteoarthritis (also called "wear and tear" arthritis,) is the most common, typically brought on by the aging of joints. Cartilage breaks down over time, creating painful sensations and difficulty moving and articulating the joints. Rheumatoid arthritis is the most serious form and can be majorly crippling. In the foot, it is a chronic inflammatory problem affecting the feet and ankles.
Symptoms include stiffness of joints (especially in the morning), limitation of joint movement, pain, tenderness, redness, rashes, and/or swelling in the joints.
With early treatment, the symptoms of arthritis can be lessened and managed. Treatments include limiting movement, physical therapy, exercise, anti-inflammatory medications and/or steroid injections, and orthotics.