Osteoarthritis of the Foot
Osteoarthritis of the foot is arthritis of the foot. Abnormal calcifications form on and around the joints and the cartilage may become eroded. The condition is more painful in the morning upon awakening when the blood flow to the foot has been minimized during the nighttime sleep. The pain of osteoarthritis tends to lessen as the joints begin to move and blood flow increases. Cause Osteoarthritis is caused by: • Old injuries to the foot that haven’t healed and result in joint dysfunction in the toes or other parts of the foot. • Inadequate nutrition to the body that results in improper formation of the cartilage of the joints (deficiency of pantothenic acid, vitamin C, zinc, silica, vitamin A, manganese, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, and vitamin D deficiencies). • Overuse of the foot can weaken the joints and cause stress on them that eventually wears down the cartilage protecting the bones. Treatment and Prevention Osteoarthritis is diagnosed with the aide of an x-ray that visualizes the bone. This is important since there are many different types of arthritis or bone disorders, and an x-ray shows characteristic signs that lead to the diagnosis. Hot packs applied to the afflicted joints improve circulation which alleviates the pain of arthritis. During times of acute pain and tenderness, cold packs may be used alternately with hot packs for best results. Foot massages are also helpful to get the joints feeling increased circulation once again. It’s the lack of circulation that is associated with pain. For example, if a joint is covered with a calcium deposit, the area covered cannot get adequate circulation. If osteoarthritis is caused by ill-fitting shoes, then it is important to replace the shoes with ones that are more suitable. Often, shoes that are wider and allow more room for the toes to wiggle are the most important for those with osteoarthritis. However, if the bones of the foot are misaligned and there is faulty biomechanics, orthotic insoles, arch supports and heel cups or lifts may be required. A professional should help someone with osteoarthritis determine what best they need.