There are two main types of arthritis, Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid Arthritis. Osteoarthritis is the main form of arthritis and is known as the "wear and tear" disorder. It can affect any joint. The big toe is especially susceptible due to the tremendous amounts of pressure that is placed upon it while we are walking. Osteoarthritis causes the cartilage to erode and then causes the bone ends to fuse which results in stiffness and aching of the joints. Osteoarthritis can also follow a fracture or a bad sprain to the foot.
Rheumatoid Arthritis is a systemic disease, which affects the whole body. Rheumatoid arthritis affects all the joints and muscles in the foot. It affects more women than men and can be inherited. The insides of the joints become swollen and stiff. It affects the feet by causing a gradual collapse of the arch; the toes become contracted and draw back. Bunions are common amongst elderly rheumatoid arthritic patients.
• Painful, swollen joints.
• Stiffness and pain in a particular joint.
• Auto-immune disease which can be inherited.
• Wear and tear disorder due to repetitive use of a
particular joint in the body.
• Bunions are common amongst rheumatoid arthritic patients
(refer to photograph below).
The above photograph is a typical example of Rheumatoid Arthritic feet.
• Hallux rigidus may occur; this is a condition in which
the big toe becomes very stiff and painful to move.
In both forms of arthritis and the treatment applied by the chiropodist will be very similar.
• Treatment of corns, calluses, thick nails and ulcers.
This may involve paring down the callus and corns and applying redistributing
• Ignore the pain.
• Wear appropriate footwear, which is deep enough to
accommodate your feet. Please refer to our Shoes and Health section.