Arthritis

Foot Arthritis Treatment Victoria BC

The two most common arthritic conditions in the foot are inflammatory arthritis and degenerative arthritis. Examples of inflammatory arthritis include Rheumatoid arthritis or gout. Both conditions often result in episodes of stiffness, heat, redness and/or swelling.

Osteoarthritis is a form of degenerative arthritis, which is often attributed to age related wear and tear of the cartilage, but can also result from damage after trauma to a joint. Degenerative arthritis worsens over time particularly if care is not taken to protect the affected joints. This type of arthritis can result in inflammation, redness, swelling and pain in the joints.

Treatments for arthritis affecting the foot depend on the symptoms and the mechanics (how the foot moves) of the foot.  The goal of the pedorthist is to provide appropriate treatment that allows the foot to function as normally as possible. By providing adequate support to the foot via a custom-made orthotic and proper footwear, stress can be alleviated from the joints of the foot and pain can be reduced. Reducing the pain can improve mobility and independence.

It is vital that people living with arthritis select proper fitting footwear that accommodates painful areas caused by arthritis. Pedorthists can help patients select the right type of footwear or modify their existing footwear for increased support and comfort.

In general, pedorthists recommend people living with arthritis look for the following criteria when selecting footwear.

  • Rigid rocker soles to decrease stress on the ball of the foot and provide more efficient push off when walking.
  • Soft leather uppers or materials that will mold around deformities or sensitive areas.
  • Wide, deep square toe boxes with no seams to avoid putting pressure on painful toe joints.
  • Velcro closures or elastic laces to ease or eliminate the need to lace up a shoe, if fine dexterity in the figures is difficult.
  • Heels lower than 1 inch are recommended and the avoidance of high heels is strongly advised.

As with any painful condition, patients should first consult their physician to be properly diagnosed and to develop an appropriate treatment plan. Their doctor may refer them to a Canadian Certified Pedorthist as they are one of the few healthcare professionals trained in the assessment of lower limb anatomy and biomechanics.

*Source: Pedorthic Association of Canada, Arthritis brochure, 2009