Rheumatoid arthritis is a disease in which the body’s immune system attacks the tissue within the joint, causing pain and inflammation.
Any joint may be affected but a large proportion of people with rheumatoid arthritis develop symptoms in the foot and ankle. It is a systemic disease, which means that it affects the whole body.
For some people the foot is the first area of the body to be affected and these changes can affect their gait. People who suffer from rheumatoid arthritis often develop severe forefoot problems such as bunions, hammer toe’s, claw toes, and others problems. Changes in the shape of the foot can create pressure areas that develop corns and calluses and can lead to ulceration. Certain medications for the condition can also have an effect on the skin and underlying tissues, making them more vulnerable to damage and infection.
Podiatry treatment – The aim of podiatry treatment is to help reduce foot-related pain, maintain and improve foot function and mobility, while protecting skin and other tissues from damage. Treatments may include palliative foot care, management of wounds, footwear and insole provision.