Why Do My Feet Hurt So Bad? Identifying Arthritis in Feet
Arthritis is the inflammation of one or more joints that results in stiffness and pain in the affected area. Conditions that may affect the feet include osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, posttraumatic arthritis, gout, and more. While these conditions have different root causes, characteristics, and treatments, all of them involve pain and stiffness and can be life-altering when joints in the feet and ankles are affected.
More common among older adults, osteoarthritis is a degenerative condition that occurs because the cartilage in the joint has weakened due to bone-on-bone rubbing. At risk of the disease are the elderly and those with a history of osteoarthritis in the family.
This chronic condition affects multiple joints in the body, but it often begins in the smaller joints, such as where your toes join your feet. From there, it may spread to your ankles or knees. It is also often symmetrical, which means that when the right foot and ankle are affected, the same areas on the left side of the body are likely to be affected, too.
This condition often develops after an injury, such as bone dislocation or fracture. According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, an injured joint is seven times more likely to develop arthritis. That’s why early podiatric assessment after an injury is so important!
Psoriatic arthritis foot pain is related to the chronic skin and nail disease known as psoriasis. About 30% of people with psoriasis will develop psoriatic arthritis, which is characterized by inflamed or swollen joints and entheses (the places where tendons or ligaments meet bone).
In some people, this inflammation can lead to chronic pain and stiffness in the toes, feet, and ankles. Medical science doesn’t yet know what causes psoriasis, nor is there a cure. However, if the disease causes you pain below the knee, podiatry can help you manage the symptoms.