Arthritic Feet

Arthritis is a general term for inflammation in a joint. Many people with arthritis experience pain and difficulty moving around. There are more than 200 different types of arthritis. Arthritis can affect people at any age, not just older people. However, you are more likely to develop arthritis as you get older. Common forms of arthritis include osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis and these frequently affect the joints of the feet.•


Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis and is caused by trauma and stress to the cartilage in the joints. Stiff and painful joints are the main symptoms. It is more common in older age. It can be as a result of general wear and tear or an injury.Osteoarthritis is very common in foot joints.

Something can always be done

If you have already been diagnosed with osteoarthritis, treatment may involve nonsteroidal anti-infl ammatory drugs, footwear, insoles, or other help. But living with the pain is not inevitable – something can always be done to help control the disease and help your quality of life. Talk to your podiatrist*, GP or consultant about what can be done.

Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis is one of the more severe types of arthritis although is much less common. It is twice as prevalent in women than men. Rheumatoid arthritis occurs when the body’s immune system turns on itself, causing infl ammation in the joint lining.

What can I do to help?

There is a lot you can do to help yourself too. Regular exercise, the right footwear, weight loss if you are overweight and the right diet may help. Speak to your GP, consultant or your podiatrist about how you can help in the care of your feet safely. For information on how to take care of your feet, visit

More help than ever

If you are diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, regular checks are important, at least annually for feet, according to the National Institute for Clinincal Excellence (NICE). As medical treatment advances, more help than ever is available to aid ongoing foot problems. There is now good evidence for the use of insoles and footwear helping people with rheumatoid arthritis, particularly in the early years, soon after diagnosis. Your podiatrist can help by aligning your joints to ease pain and prescribing insoles and footwear to limit joint damage. If the arthritis is severe, surgery may help.