Understanding Rheumatoid Arthritis
Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic autoimmune disease that causes inflammation and damage to the joints over time without proper treatment. The chronic condition can lead to severe pain and there have been several treatments developed to prevent the progression of rheumatoid arthritis symptoms. These treatments include anti-inflammatory drugs, corticosteroid injections for affected joints, and radiotherapy as a last option.
Understanding where RA starts will help treat and prevent the condition. If you are suffering from rheumatoid arthritis, consult with Dr. Andrew H. Cohen, D.P.M. of Mid-Michigan Foot and Ankle Center. Dr. Cohen will provide you with the foot- and ankle information you seek.
What Is Rheumatoid Arthritis?
Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disorder in which the body’s own immune system attacks the membranes surrounding the joints. Severe pain and immobility are caused by an inflammation of the lining of your joints, and in worse cases the destruction of the joint’s cartilage and bone can occur.
Rheumatoid Arthritis of the Feet
Although RA usually attacks multiple bones and joints throughout the entire body, many cases result in pain in the foot or ankle area. Pain will often initially present in the toes before the condition worsens and spreads throughout the entire foot.
- Swelling and pain in the feet
- Stiffness in the feet
- Pain on the ball or sole of the feet
- Joint shift and deformation
Quick diagnosis of RA in the feet is important so that your podiatrist can treat the area effectively. Your doctor may ask you about your medical history and lifestyle to help determine possible causes of your RA.
Unfortunately, there is no cure for RA, so treatment options are designed to specifically target the symptoms of it, most notably the pain it causes. Two types of anti-inflammatory drugs – non-steroidal or NSAIDs and corticosteroids – may be prescribed by your doctor. In some severe cases where the joints are too badly damaged, surgery may be an option. As always, speak with your podiatrist to help determine the appropriate treatment options available to you.
If you have any questions feel free to contact one of our offices, located in Saginaw and Essexville, MI. We offer all the latest in diagnostic and treatment technologies to meet your needs.