What is it?
Rheumatoid Arthritis is an auto-immune disease that can cause chronic inflammation of many different body systems.
Primarily it affects joints but can also affect many different tissues and organs throughout the body. It most often starts in the small joints of the hands and feet, and usually affects the same joints on both sides of the body.
The majority of people with rheumatoid arthritis develop symptoms in the foot and ankle over the course of the disease.
It is associated with joint destruction which can lead to pain, disability, loss of function, and overall reduce one’s quality of life.
What are the symptoms?
Why did I get it?
The causes of Rheumatoid Arthritis are still not fully understood. Essentially, the body’s immune system when functioning normally fights infections; however when a person is diagnosed with an autoimmune disease the body’s immune system begins to attack itself, thinking it is doing the right job.
How is it diagnosed?
Rheumatoid arthritis can be difficult to diagnose as there are many diseases which have similar presentations.
Clinical examination evaluating specific findings and presentations such as early morning stiffness, more than 3 joints being affected, nodules over the joints and blood test results with certain chemical markers normally suggest a diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis.
How can I treat it?
The quickest path to managing your pain is to pay a visit to your Podiatrist for them to help you develop a treatment plan.
Below are some treatment strategies which may be implemented by your Podiatrist:
- Footwear advice and modification
- Custom orthotics
- Exercise and movement therapy
- Foot and ankle mobilisation
- Massage therapy
- Dry needling
Ready to take back control of your Rheumatoid Arthritis?
Book your appointment with one of our podiatrists now!