Can Orthotics Help Arthritis in my Feet?
Fortunately for the many people who have this condition, the answer is yes. Most everyone has heard of arthritis, but may not know exactly what it is. Furthermore, many people have heard of arthritis of the knees or hips, but may not be aware that this disease can affect the feet.
In actuality, arthritis can affect any joint, and this is explained within the definition of arthritis: arthritis is inflammation or destruction of cartilage, which is the lining of joints. Joints of course occur between bones and are connected by ligaments and a joint capsule (joint sack). There are different types of arthritis, such as osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis. Most people are familiar with osteoarthritis, which is described as ‘wear and tear’ arthritis, i.e. the process of the cartilage wearing down within a joint. This disease process can result in pain and inflammation of the affected joints.
Considering that the feet are our foundations to the ground for standing and walking, arthritis of these joints can be quite debilitating and painful. There are 33 joints within each foot and arthritic effects to just one joint can produce symptoms; usually the bigger the joint affected, the more prominent the symptoms. Many people who have been diagnosed with arthritis of the foot, or suspect that they may have this arthritis, think that there is nothing that can be done…but this is not true.
Custom foot orthotics are a great conservative treatment option for arthritis of the feet. While one should not expect orthotics to ‘cure’ their arthritis, they can reasonably expect to receive pain relief while potentially slowing the arthritic process. Orthotics can effectively provide support and correct abnormal positioning that typically leads to symptoms. Orthotics work by redistributing weight and pressure away from arthritic joints, resulting in decreased stress upon the sensitive areas of the foot. Improved mechanical function of the feet imparted by orthotics can lead to better walking and a better life! If you have arthritis, call Alpine Foot & Ankle Clinic at (406) 721-400 or schedule an appointment online.