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Arthritis And Quality Of Life

Updated on April 11, 2012

What is Arthritis?

Arthritis is a reference made to a general condition when a person's joints are inflamed. Etymologically, the word is the joining of two greek words, that literally translate to joint inflammation. However, it is not always as simple as minor irritation as the term covers approximately a hundred more specific ailments. Some, most people have heard of include osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and juvenile rheumatoid arthritis among a host of other terms. At the heart of the matter is the pain, swelling and general discomfort that arises when the joints are inflamed.

Arthritis can debilitate the daily movement and function of a person when it advances to reduce joint mobility. It is one of the most common causes of disability in people today and can have a major impact on quality of life, productivity and expense.

Diagnosis

There are multiple symptoms that precede a diagnosis of arthritis. Then from there on a prognosis is made to determine the most viable course of action. The sequence typically begins with a patient's concern over pain and discomfort in a joint. As age progresses, the usual complaint stems form one's feet. The reason chances are higher that the feet is afflicted is because a foot, as simple as it seems, contains twenty eight bones and thirty-three separate joints that include the metatarsals, phalanges the digits, the cuboid and the calcaneus as seen below. One must realize that the foot, is not one lump of flesh but rather an intricate network of muscles, bones, joints and ligaments. The constant flexing and bending and friction will inevitably result in arthritic conditions. Another reason that the feet are most common in suffering from arthritis is because most people fail to adequately care for their feet.

Arthritis Pain Relief

Preventing Arthritis

Those who develop arthritis, whether at a young age or once the years add on, are at risk to reduce the quality of life as well as be subject to other complications. The best way to fight arthritis is to begin by preventing it. It has been understood that arthritis is the inflammation of joints which more often than not comes from the bones that are misaligned due to posture, or alignment. The most common occurrence of this is when the feet are not properly cushioned when walking.

Shoes are one of the most important things in a person's wearables. It protects the feet from from debris and possible puncture, scrapes and bruises. It also serves to protect the tender soles and the tender tissue from the elements and possible insect bites and allergens. It also keeps the feet clean and reduces the likelihood of fungal infestation and toe damage.

Source

Advanced Function of Shoes

However, it is not realized most of the time that the onset of arthritis can be staved off, sometimes even completely avoided if the shoes a person wears from an early age are designed to reduce the wear and tear of the cushions between the joints in the feet. Remember those thirty three joints, well if the feet a properly aligned by the confluence of two events – proper walking posture and the proper cushion and alignment of the shoe, then there is little reason why the feet will be misaligned and at risk to develop arthritis in the future.

Arthritis Of The feet and Ankles

Arthritis in the lower extremities are with cause by slow wear of the joints a arise from a traumatic incident to the feet. In either case post diagnosis care will include medication, therapy, regimented diets as well as prosthetic shoes. There are three kinds of arthritis that affect the feet specifically and these, if understood properly and associated with the risk factors, will allow one to avoid the problems.

Osteoarthritis

This is a degenerative ailment where the cartilage of the joints that hold the sinovial fluid are slowly eroded over time. The body does not replace any of the erosion and as time lapses, the cartilage that acts as a cushion between the joints fully erodes and results in the two bones coming onto abrasive contact with each other. This causes inflammation and severe pain.

Rheumatoid Arthritis

While this is a similar condition to Osteoarthritis, the cause is worryingly different. In osteoarthritis, the cartilage erodes due to wear. In Rheumatoid Arthritis, cartilage is worn because the body's immune system suddenly believes the cartilage is an invading item and attacks it. As it does so, the cartilage – all over the body, ware down and the entire body begins to feel the effects of eroding cartilage.

Post Traumatic Arthritis

As the name clearly suggests this is something that happens after an injury to the foot or ankle. Again, it is similar to osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis but just caused by a different issue. In osteoarthritis, it was normal ware and tear. In rheumatoid arthritis it was an auto immune response that attacked the cartilage, In this, it is an injury to the foot that weakens the bone system and structure.

Summary

The time to take care of ones feet should not be limited to the time when the arthritis is diagnosed. But if possible, proper shoe habits, and proper shoes should be used at all times to enable the body to be protected agains the osteoarthritis as well as post traumatic arthritis. In the case of rheumatoid arthritis, proper shoes are an after thought that aids in comfort.

If at all proper shoes are not used, even before the onset of arthritis, it is necessary then to aid in the proper alligator of the bones in the foot. Looking at the char above, it is obvious that the alignment of the Talonavicular Joint, Tarstometatarsal joint, metatarso-phalanges joint and the subtalar joint all need to be properly aligned to protect agains ware that is not excessive. In a post diagnosis world this is difference between comfort and pain and the line between a painful existence and a happy one. If possible wear shoes that protect the ankle as well. Protect the sole with padding agains shock and possible slips and sprains. Proper care of one's feet will ensure a happy golden age.

Understanding Arthritis

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