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RA and other Rheumatic conditions

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Rheumatoid arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis (often called RA or RhA) is an auto-immune condition where the immune system attacks the body’s joints, causing inflammation, pain and stiffness. It can affect people of all ages from children to adults and can be a very debilitating and progressive condition requiring medical treatment from a GP and Rheumatologist to try and manage the symptoms. Early diagnosis and treatment can help to prevent and slow damage to the joints.

Most people with rheumatoid arthritis need to see a Podiatrist at some point because the feet, and in particular the toes can become out of shape, causing pain in the bones, joints and soft tissues, as well as skin and nail problems from rubbing or pressure. It is also more challenging finding footwear if you have foot or toe problems linked to rheumatoid arthritis.  Many patients with this condition develop pains in the balls of the feet too and the fat padding which protects the bones of the feet tends to migrate due to the problem, leading to high pressure areas, corns and callus. Foot orthoses can help to take the pressure off the balls of their feet but these usually need to be customised to you.

Some podiatrists offer hot wax therapy that can be very soothing for joint pain.

The following link may be useful:

Corns

Callus

Hallux Valgus

Lesser Toe Deformities

Footwear

Foot Orthoses and Insoles

Toe Props

Other Rheumatic Conditions

It’s a bit confusing, but the terms rheumatic conditions or diseases, inflammatory conditions or inflammatory arthropathies and polyarthropathies are often used as terms to cover a range of conditions usually associated with inflammation, pain and dysfunction of the bones, joints or connective tissues of the body.

Many of these can have an impact on the feet. It is beyond the scope of this website to discuss all of these conditions though and there are so many. nhs.uk and rheumatology.org have a lot of useful information.

To confuse things more, the most common form of arthritis is osteoarthritis which is wear and tear of the joints linked to use over time (the ageing process and sometimes injury) and this is not a rheumatic condition.

Have a look at osteoarthritis and psoriatic arthritis (if you have or may have psoriasis) for more information on these conditions too.

If you have a form of arthritis and are having foot problems, then why not find a podiatrist near you?

Podiatrists should be able to liaise with your GP and/or Rheumatologist too if they have any concerns.

RA and other Rheumatic Conditions
RA and other Rheumatic Conditions
RA and other Rheumatic Conditions