Arthrosis of the feet. Learn more about this condition

16 de November de 2020

Osteoarthritis is a chronic rheumatic disease characterized by wear and tear of the cartilage in the body’s joints. This condition is one of the most frequent bone and joint problems in people, particularly in older adults.

According to several studies, more than 28% of adults over the age of 60 suffer from some type of osteoarthritis. Among those affected, up to 80% show some type of limitation of movement due to damage to their joints.

The deterioration or wear of the cartilage covering the joints causes deformation of the joints. But in addition, discomfort and pain of varying intensity occur when the joint is loaded or a movement is made.

The reason for this is that cartilage has a protective and covering function for the joint to soften and cushion the friction between the bones.

Although osteoarthritis can occur in any joint, it occurs more frequently in joints that must bear more load or pressure. For this reason it is very common to see patients with this ailment in their knees, ankles and feet.

What are the symptoms of osteoarthritis of the foot?

Osteoarthritis of the foot manifests itself through various symptoms, including joint stiffness and pain, swelling and deformity of the joint.

The structural change caused by osteoarthritis in the foot can lead to the appearance of other problems such as skin discoloration, calluses and thickening of the nails.

In any case, clinical diagnosis is the best way to determine whether or not there is a problem of osteoarthritis in the foot. The most commonly used method is radiography, which allows verification of the condition of the bones and joints of the foot.

arthrosis of the feet

What causes osteoarthritis?

There is no single cause of osteoarthritis, but there are several risk factors that can increase the likelihood of osteoarthritis. The main factors are age, sex, genetic predisposition, physical activities and overweight.

The older you get, the more wear and tear on your joints and the greater the risk of osteoarthritis. From the age of 50 onwards, the possibility of this occurring increases considerably.

On the other hand, women are twice as likely to suffer from osteoarthritis as men, especially among the group over 50 years of age and who have reached menopause.

Osteoarthritis is not inherited from the parents, but the shape of the body and joints is, which in turn determines the biomechanics of the body. And this may in turn influence a greater or lesser risk of developing osteoarthritis.

As for physical activity as a risk factor, certain jobs or occupations that require repetition of effortful movements over long periods of time may increase the risk of osteoarthritis.

Lifting loads or handling heavy equipment for long hours, or even playing sports at a professional level, are included among these conditions. The risk increases further among people who have suffered injuries to knees, elbows, ankles and feet, even several years after they have recovered from them.

Finally, we should mention that being overweight and sedentary are other risk factors that increase the possibility of developing osteoarthritis or worsen the symptoms of osteoarthritis when it appears.

What to do when you have osteoarthritis of the foot?

Once osteoarthritis appears in the foot, treatment should be initiated to slow the progression of joint damage.

When the first pain or discomfort appears, it is important to visit a podiatrist for an assessment of the joints. A biomechanical study of the footprint will be very valuable to define the best treatment.

Among the most common solutions is the use of customized insoles to improve the footprint by redistributing the load and increasing foot support. If the skin or nails have thickened too much and affect the function of the foot, chiropody can be performed to alleviate this problem.

In addition, there are various physical therapies that relieve pain, as well as creams that help soothe the skin and reduce inflammation.

 

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Article prepared by Clínica San Román

16-11-2020

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