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Rheumatoid Arthritis

(web) Rheumatoid Arthritis

What is it?

Rheumatoid Arthritis (RhA) is a condition that causes inflammation in the joints; particularly the feet, hands, wrists, ankles and knees.  RhA is typically symettrical, meaning that it will affect both hands, or both feet.  As well as the joints becoming inflamed and sore, other symptoms can include fever, muscle soreness and joint stiffness.  Unlike Osteoarthritis, which is caused by wear and tear, RhA is caused by a faulty immune system that attacks the tissues that line and cushion the joints.  RhA is seen more commonly in the smaller joints, like those in your hands and feet.

How is it treated?

Your Doctor will diagnose and decide the most appropriate treatment to help manage the disease.  There are many things that can be done by your Podiatrist to make walking more comfortable.  These include the supply of special insoles (orthoses) to minimise pressure on painful joints, footwear advice to help accommodate your foot comfortable and stop rubbing or excess pressure, and routine treatment to remove painful corns and hard skin.  Your Podiatrist will also advise if onward referral to Physiotherapy, Orthopaedic or Occupational Health specialists may be appropriate.