Arthritis Comes in Many Forms

arthritis

Arthritis is a term that is used to describe over 100 different joint conditions. At Superior Foot & Ankle Care Center we think it’s important for our patients to be informed about arthritic conditions—especially since each of your feet has 33 joints that need to be protected for your foot to function properly.

Although different types of arthritis may have different causes and manifestations, there are some common characteristics. These include:

  • Joint pain
  • Swelling
  • Stiffness
  • Limited range of motion
  • Redness or heat in a joint

Some of the more common types of arthritis include:

Osteoarthritis—this is the best-known type of arthritis. Also known as “wear and tear” arthritis, it occurs over time as cartilage breaks down with age and use. Osteoarthritis usually comes on gradually and gets worse over time. Being overweight can exacerbate osteoarthritis because of the excess pressure on the joints caused by carrying extra weight.

Rheumatoid arthritis—although rheumatoid arthritis shares the symptom of joint pain with other forms of arthritis, this form of the disease is far more serious in that it is part of a chronic inflammatory system of diseases that can affect various systems of the body including lungs, heart, eyes and nervous system.

Traumatic arthritis—an injury or trauma to a joint such as a bad sprain, fracture or being hit with a heavy object can damage cartilage and lead to arthritis.

Gout—this form of arthritis occurs when uric acid builds up in the joint and then crystallizes, causing severe pain, inflammation and swelling. Gout most often affects the big toe joint and can be triggered by certain foods, such as shellfish, red meat, organ meats, red wine, brandy, and other alcoholic beverages.

Psoriatic arthritis—in some people with the skin condition of psoriasis a form of arthritis may develop as well. Arthritis may be mild and tends to get worse when the skin condition worsens.

With any form of arthritis, early detection and treatment is key to slowing the progression of the disease and managing the symptoms. If you have any signs of joint disease, it’s important that you contact our Long Beach office (562-420-9800­) as soon as possible so that one of our podiatrists, Dr. Victoria Foley or Dr. Constance Ornelas can determine the source of your joint discomfort along with the appropriate treatment.