The most common type is osteoarthritis (osteo=bone, arth=joint, itis=inflammation), also known as degenerative or “wear and tear” arthritis; it affects primarily the weight bearing joints (knees, hips, feet, spine). There is a gradual breaking down and wearing away of the cartilage that lines the bone ends at the joint. This leads to decreased shock absorption and cushioning, inflammation and difficult, painful movement. It is considered an overuse condition caused and aggravated by anatomical deformities, biomechanical faults, demanding sports, obesity and aging.
Bone spurs or Osteophytes can also form on the joint from increased damage causing restricted motion and pain.
Another common type of arthritis found more prevalent in males than females is Gouty Arthritis (Gout). It is a condition caused by deposits of sodium uric crystals in the joints due to a problem with metabolism. Unexcreted uric acid can pool in blood and tissues and cause needle-like uric acid crystals to accumulate around the small joints. Typically it involves the big toe; but other joints like ankle, knee, wrist, elbow and fingers may be affected.
There are many other types of arthritis including rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, gonococcal arthritis, lupus and septic arthritis which are systemic arthritic diseases.
Pain at the affected joints is the most common complaint. It may be accompanied by a grating sound or sensation. Joint Movement is restricted or altered due to the pain. There may be some deformation due to inflammation and the development of spurs at the affected joints.
- Custom made orthotics – Help to provide proper support and alignment to the foot, controlling conditions such as over pronation, or to provide extra cushioning, cut outs, or extensions to areas that may not have the range of motion due to the restrictive nature of the disease.
- Orthopedic footwear – Properly fitted, strong, structured footwear that are stable with good shock absorption and cushioning. Some may need added modifications such as; bilateral rocker soles to aid in joint movement, stretch to accommodate bony deformities, etc.
- Anti inflammatory medications
- Weight loss
- Dietary restrictions (for controlling Gout flare ups)
- Stretching and strengthening exercises
- Chiropractic adjustments
- Arthroscopy and repair
- Toe implants, joint replacements and other surgeries.