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There are three types of arthritis that commonly affect the body: Osteoarthritis (OA), Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) and Gout.
OA is also known as wear and tear. This is simply because it occurs when the cartilage that lies between the bones and joints starts to wear away through daily usage. In some people the cartilage rebuilds itself and they have no symptoms. However, in most people when the cartilage deteriorates, the bone underneath can thicken, causing pain, stiffness and swelling. The joints most affected are the knees, hips, hands and big toes.
OA is uncommon before the age of 40 and is more common in women than men. Though the exact cause of OA is unknown, it is probably due to the fact that as we age, we tend to put on weight and thereby put more pressure on our joints, so our muscles become weaker and our body loses its ability to heal itself. When OA occurs in younger people, it is usually because the joint cartilage has been damaged through injury (such as a sprain or fracture), a bacterial or viral infection or even through overuse of a particular joint as is common in farmers (hips), plumbers (knees) and footballers (knees and ankles). Arthritis Research UK estimates that 8 million people in the UK are affected by OA but only 1 million seek treatment.
RA is a chronic inflammatory condition that affects the synovial membranes within the joints. The synovial joint lubricates the joints and because of this we have thousands of them all over our body. Therefore, any joint can be affected but RA particularly affects the hands, feet, wrists, ankles, knees, and tends to occur symmetrically. RA tends to affect the smaller joints such as the fingers and toes first, so feet are often one of the first places to be affected. Symptoms usually strike the toes first and may then affect the back of the feet and the ankles. The joints may enlarge and even freeze in one position so they can’t extend fully.
Unfortunately, RA is the more aggressive type of arthritis, as the immune system is essentially attacking the joints for no reason. RA often results in more severe deformity of both the hands and feet. However, the lungs, heart and liver can also be affected.
Due to the feet being a complex part of your body, they can not be, and should not be, looked at in isolation. Your feet are placed at the bottom of the skeleton tree. Therefore, any problems within the the lower back, thigh muscles, knee joints, and lower limbs will contribute to your foot pain. Due to this, a condition cannot be solved simply by consultation, and a thorough hands-on assessment is required.
By carrying out a Biomechanical Gait Analysis Assessment, the Podiatrist will consider your foot condition, but also take into account symptoms being experienced further up the skeleton. The assessment will provide an accurate diagnosis, allowing the Podiatrist to prepare a suitable treatment plan, which may include recommended stretches, custom made orthotics, and footwear advice.
However, for many patients, the above condition can leave them crippled and unable to carry out daily activities. It is not always best to rely on pain medications, due to their side effects. Furthermore, long-term pain relieving medication only helps to deal with the symptoms, and not the underlying cause of the pain / condition. MLS Class IV Laser Therapy reduces pain because it addresses the cause of that pain, whether this is by healing, repair or regeneration. Pain relief can often be felt after the first session. Laser therapy is completely safe, as well as non-invasive and painless.
At Podiatry Station we strive to remain ahead of our competitors, by offering our patients the latest treatment options with the use of modern technology. Laser Therapy is used for a number of conditions, including immediate pain relief for MSK conditions.
Read more about Laser Therapy
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020 3327 0194
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