Osteoarthritis (OA) is a degenerative condition that can affect any joint in the body. The cartilage that cushions and protects the ends of the bones in the joint gradually breaks down causing stiffness and pain.
OA can also cause damage to the bone tissue around the joint and osteophytes (bony growths) can form around the joint edges. There are 33 joints in the foot and OA can affect any of those joints. Most commonly the big toe joint, the midfoot and the 3 joints of the hindfoot. It can also be found in the lesser toes particularly when hammer toes are present.
Osteoarthritis tends to affect women more than men and due to the wear and tear nature of the condition it is more common in the older population. Obesity increases the strain put through the structures of the foot and can speed up the wear and tear process of osteoarthritis. Issues with the biomechanics of the foot such as flat feet (pes planus) or high arches (pes cavus) can also cause OA. OA can also occur secondary to an injury to the joint or to another condition that damages the joint such as gout or rheumatoid arthritis.
Symptoms of Osteoarthritis in the feet can vary depending on which joint is affected and are likely to worsen with weight bearing activity and ease after periods of rest. Pain and stiffness in the joint and swelling in the surrounding area are usual indicators of OA. It may become difficult to walk and the range of motion in the joint may be reduced or limited.
An insole with extra shock absorption and a good arch support can help ease the symptoms of osteoarthritis in the feet. These can provide cushion and support to the foot and improve weight distribution across the foot to relieve pressure points.
Would you like to know more about common foot pain problems before making a choice? You may find one of the following blog articles useful:
Achilles Tendonitis Click here to read our ‘Foot Pain – Achilles Tendonitis?’ blog to find out more.
Diabetic Neuropathy Click here to read our ‘Foot Pain – Diabetic Neuropathy?’ blog to find out more.
Posterior Tibial Tendon Dysfunction Click here to read our ‘Foot Pain – Posterior Tibial Tendon Dysfunction?’ blog to find out more.
Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome Click here to read our ‘Foot Pain – Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome?’ blog to find out more.