Diagnosis and treatment of Arthritis

What is arthritis?

Arthritis is a disorder that can affect anyone at any age. Arthritis may be defined as a joint disorder that may involve the inflammation of one or more joints. For example if you experience pain, redness, heat and swelling on the skin or around the joint, or restriction of movement then you should consider seeing your podiatrist or GP.

There are many forms of the conditions that are grouped under the term Arthritis. However the two most common forms of the disorder are Rheumatoid and Osteoarthritis and their causes are believed to be quite different. In osteoarthritis, the cartilage on the joint surface gradually wears away. This essentially causes rubbing of bone on bone. In Rheumatoid arthritis the body’s immune system attacks the joint, leading to destruction of the joint and its surfaces. Rheumatoid arthritis is the less common form of the disorder.

Your Podiatrist may commonly advice clients to consider further medical tests if they suspect you have an inflammatory joint condition.

Treatment for arthritis

Although no cure is believed to exist, there are a number of treatments which may slow down the progression of the disorder. For osteoarthritis relief may be found taking Non steroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAID) and corticosteriods and in some cases surgery.

For Rheumatoid Arthritis, the idea behind treatment is to slow down the progression of the disorder. For example, treatment with disease modifying drugs (Dmards), painkillers and physiotherapy. For many arthritic conditions, regular exercise is believed to be of some benefit for sufferers.

Your podiatrist is believed to be an important member of your health care team to help manage the condition. Foot health advice, footwear and prescription orthotics and arch supports can all assist in foot and body posture and improve and correct joint function