Arthritis is a condition in which your joints become inflamed, often resulting in pain and difficulties with moving your feet. If you’re experiencing pain in your feet and ankles, you should be aware of the five most common foot and ankle arthritis symptoms.
Chronic Joint Pain
One of the most obvious signs of arthritis in your feet is pain. You might be experiencing pain in your whole foot, or just in your toes. This type of pain can be described as an achy feeling, or sometimes a sharp, stabbing pain. Depending on how inflamed your joints are, your pain can be mild, moderate, or even severe.
Due to arthritis in your feet causing inflammation, your feet might start to swell. Swelling can be one of the first signs of arthritis in your feet. You might notice this when you first wake up in the morning, or if you’ve been sitting for a long period of time. Swelling in your joints can sometimes last for several days, making it difficult for you to put on shoes or walk comfortably.
Arthritis in your feet can wear away the cartilage between your joints and inflame the tissues, making joints stiff and difficult for you to move. With less cartilage to support your joints, they can become resistant to bending. This can make it very difficult for you to walk and have full flexibility in your feet.
Toes Changing Shape
Arthritis in the big toe is very common and can cause your toes to change their shape. Whenever you take a step, the joint at the base of your toe bears the entire weight of your body which can not only cause extreme pain, but can change the way that your toe looks after time.
Decreased Range of Motion
If you find yourself being unable to move your feet and ankles as well as you’re used to, it might be due to foot and ankle arthritis. With the stiffness and swelling that often comes with arthritis, it can lead to a decreased range of motion, making you unable to have full flexibility.
Foot and Ankle Arthritis Treatment
If these symptoms match what you’re experiencing, it’s important to visit a foot and ankle doctor right away. Your doctor will first run tests and imaging to diagnose the problem. From there, your foot specialist might refer you to physical therapy, prescribe you medication, or even recommend the use of custom orthotics.