Quick — answer this question: What’s the leading cause of long-term pain and disability in people all over the world?
If you said your in-laws, we give you points for trying. The real answer is bone and joint pain. Bone & Joint Action Week is celebrated globally this year from October 12-20, so we at Montgomery Foot Care Specialists would like to focus on some diseases that affect the bones of your feet.
Arthritis is one of the most common causes of ongoing foot pain. The word “arthritis” is a general term for “joint inflammation.” So if it’s not your family causing your joint inflammation, what is it?
- Regular use of your feet (walking, standing, running after kids, playing sports, etc.) eventually causes the barrier between bones to break down. When bones rub against other bones, your joints become inflamed. This kind of arthritis is known as osteoarthritis or “wear-and-tear” arthritis.
- Autoimmune disease – the body attacking itself in some way – affects the feet in the form of rheumatoid arthritis (RA).
Without treatment, arthritis will continue to degenerate your joints, causing foot deformity and eventually making it difficult or impossible to walk. Treatment slows down the disease’s progress, though, and usually involves some combination of physical therapy, medication, orthotic inserts, and exercise.
The bones in your feet are just as susceptible as the rest of the bones in your body to osteoporosis – a condition that causes bones to lose mass, becoming thin, weak, and easily broken. In fact, small cracks in the bones of your foot are often the first sign that you have osteoporosis. Prevent this disease by performing weight-bearing exercises such as strength training, walking, or jogging, and by getting plenty of Vitamin D and calcium in your diet.
Arthritis and osteoporosis are just two of the ways in which bone and joint pain can manifest themselves in the feet. The most important thing to note this Bone & Joint Action Week is that should you have pain, you should take action. Some people think that pain is a normal sign of activity or aging, but pain in your feet is not normal.
Make an appointment with Dr. Heidi M. Christie or Dr. Chandra L. Day-Houts whenever bone or joint pain is an issue. Call our podiatry office in Montgomery, AL at (334) 396-3668 for expert service and caring treatment of your feet.