In the feet and ankles, arthritis is a growing problem as the baby boomers get older. Almost 50% of all people, ages 50-60, have some form of arthritis, but don’t exhibit symptoms. Arthritis is a general term that covers a wide range of injuries involving inflammation of the joints. Three types are osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and psoriatic arthritis.
Osteoarthritis is the wear and tear of your joints, and it usually occurs due to overuse. It can also be caused by obesity due to the excess bearing of weight on the feet. Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease where your immune system attacks the joints, and usually 20% of people have visible signs. Then, there is psoriatic arthritis which is inflammation of the skin (psoriasis) and joints, and typically 10% of people with psoriasis will move on to arthritis. Psoriatic arthritis and other arthritic toe conditions have a typical presentation in the feet that cause the toes to swell up like sausages.
It is important to be evaluated by a doctor so that you can determine whether your arthritis is degenerative or due to a systemic disease. The diagnosis can be confirmed with blood tests and X-rays. Dr. Pearl often uses Injinji socks to help with swollen toes in psoriatic arthritis. Injinji socks uses compression to direct the flow of inflammation within the lymph channels to go towards the heart. Stay tuned on the blog to learn more about compression and Injinji socks. With proper management, you can continue moving your feet beyond the rusty years.