Arthritis of the foot - causes, symptoms, diagnosis, treatment and prevention

The complex anatomy of the feet defines the functionality of the body. The foot consists of many small bones and joints. They have to withstand a tremendous load. Stop instantly react to changes of body position in space while walking, running, dancing, sports. Arthritis of the foot occurs in people of all ages, happen pathological changes in the joints, their unnatural deformation (examples pictured), manifest pain symptoms. The disease should be promptly treated.

arthritis of the foot

What is arthritis of the foot

The human foot consists of small bones of the Tarsus rounded, long tubular shank, and short tubular phalanges. All these skeletal system have a movable articulation, in order to provide coordinated movements, depreciation, reliable support. The arched shape of the foot connected with the vertical position of the human body in space, and the upright posture.

Inflammation of the joints of the foot and of the movable connection of bones in other parts of the body is called arthritis. In this disease the inflammatory process extends to the synovial membrane of the knee – the inner layer of the joint capsule. Inflamed internal surface produces a large amount of synovial fluid, this is due to the swelling of the joint. Inflammation takes ligaments, muscles. Articular cartilage weakening.


The factors that provoke the inflammation of the small joints of the feet, a lot. The most common causes of inflammation of the joints of the foot are:

  1. Injury. Fractures, dislocations, injuries of the foot are connected with the violation of the integrity of the joints, they cause the risk of inflammation. Uncomfortable, mismatched shoes – it is a constant trauma to the feet. The same effect is physical overload during prolonged athletic training, dance rehearsals.
  2. Infection. Once inside the body, the pathogens of intestinal diseases, pneumonia, of acute tonsillitis, venereal diseases (gonorrhea, syphilis) have a devastating effect on the joints.
  3. Autoimmune inflammation. The body triggers an immune defense to inflammation of the cartilage, which he sees as pathogenic.
  4. Specific. Appear individually on the background of existing diseases. For example, in the joints the deposition of salts in psoriasis.
  5. Genetic predisposition.

On the occurrence of the disease a number of factors influence indirectly. Inflammation of the joints of the foot provoke:

  • the metabolic disorders;
  • a weak immune system,
  • bad habits;
  • excess body weight;
  • age-related changes.


The disease can affect one or more joints. Arthritis leg different types of in the early stages has similar symptoms. Typical General symptoms include:

  • Severe pain. The increasing inflammation of the pain becomes unbearable. A sharp pain occur in the morning or night, do not stop even at rest.
  • There is swelling, redness at the site of the inflamed joint. At the stage of remission the symptoms of arthritis of the foot disappear. If untreated, inflammation comes back and manifests itself in a stronger form.
  • The increase in temperature of the inflamed areas.
  • Dysfunction of the affected areas. There is stiffness, limitation of movement, especially after resting. With the beginning of the movement these manifestations take place. In progressive process and no treatment periods of stiffness become bole is long, and later permanent.
  • Inflamed joints become deformed. Turned fingers, the bumps appear, the growths. Form of deformation depends on the type of pathology.
  • There is a change of gait.
types and stages of arthritis

Types and stages of the disease

Diagnosed with several types of osteoarthritis of the foot. It depends on the reasons that provoked the disease:

  1. Gouty arthritis of the foot affects the big toe, occurs on the background of gout. The place of articulation of the bones of the first toe and metatarsal develop a characteristic bump. The disease is accompanied by frequent relapses.
  2. Rheumatoid. Inflammation covers the joints of the hands and feet. The foot deformed small joints, little finger takes on a hammer shape. Arthritis deformans may go into festering.
  3. Reactive is a consequence of infectious diseases.
  4. Post-traumatic arthritis is the result of injury, first symptoms may appear through the years.
  5. Osteoarthritis is associated with age-related destruction of cartilage. The inflammation affects the deep tissues of the joints, is a serious distortion. Over time, older patients developing osteoarthritis and arthritis of the foot. The disease is painful, often relapsing (examples shown in photo).

The development of arthritis in the foot occurs gradually. The disease runs the sequential steps of:

  1. Active inflammation.
  2. Remission (temporary disappearance of symptoms, characterized by the relief of the patient's condition)
  3. A relapse (or aggravation, the resumption of the disease after apparent recovery).


The conclusion of one doctor is not enough to diagnose arthritis of the foot. Patients should go to several specialists, e.g. surgeon and orthopedist etc.

Treatment is appointed taking into account the cause, type and stage of the disease. Therapy is more complicated, if diagnosed with a chronic inflammation. At the first appearance of swelling in the joints of the foot, redness of the skin, the temperature rise over the painful fingers need to seek the assistance of the therapist. It provides direction to conduct a series of studies that will help determine the condition of joints:

  • Ultrasound;
  • radiography;
  • MRI (and CT if necessary to clarify the diagnosis);
  • biochemical blood test for C-reactive protein, the determination of rheumatoid factor, uric acid, glucose concentration;
  • puncture for the study of the composition of the synovial fluid.

Treatment of arthritis of the feet

The goal of therapeutic interventions for arthritis feet – the elimination of the causes of the disease, relieve inflammation, the relief of the patient who is experiencing severe pain. After the relief of inflammation, the doctor will prescribe maintenance treatment. It includes physiotherapy, recipes of traditional medicine. In the initial stages of the disease effectively help the arch supports and orthopedic shoes.

How to treat arthritis of the foot at home

treatment folk methods

For the effective treatment of arthritis you can apply a set of measures even at home. It's medicine, diet, herbal medicine, baths, friction, compresses, warming up. The choice depends on the stage of the disease. For example, in the acute period of the disease, is contraindicated warming procedure. Arthritis treatment feet provide a therapeutic effect of some medicinal plants:

  • The leaves of burdock. Fresh picked leaf is applied to the bottom side of the inflamed spot, and fix a bandage, put on a top sock. This herbal compress can be done at night, morning the procedure is repeated with a new sheet. The medicinal parts of the plant can be dried and prepare for the winter. Before using, soak them in water.
  • The broth of lime blossom, St. John's wort, chamomile, or collected. 1 tablespoon of medicinal raw pour boiling water, to insist 10 minutes, strain and drink throughout the day in small portions.
  • Fresh cabbage and carrot juice in equal parts. A glass of juice to drink in small portions throughout the day.

Warm baths well relieve the pain in chronic arthritis. In the water you can add iodized or sea salt, broth celandine, chamomile, oak bark, young needles of pine. You can make the bath with mustard powder at the rate of 1 tablespoon to 1 liter of water, it should be a comfortable temperature. Feet should be kept in water for about half an hour, adding hot water as it cools down.

The therapeutic effect of rubbing with the use of alcohol tinctures of medicinal herbs. Procedures do courses of 7-10 days. Tincture can be prepared independently from the roots of burdock, dandelion, elecampane. To do this, take a glass raw material and 0.5 liter of alcohol, insist 2 weeks in a glass container. With the same purpose, make good use of the pharmacy propolis tincture, fir or camphor oil. Apply warm compresses at night and warming up stop hot sand or salt.


In the treatment of arthritis of the feet is recommended to consult a dietitian. Correctly made diet supplements comprehensive treatment:

Useful products

Harmful products

Fresh vegetable juices






Vegetables (except sorrel, rhubarb)

Sharp cheeses

Green tea


Foods rich in calcium

Fatty meals



Therapy with paraffin

For arthritis treatment feet paraffin melt in a water bath to a liquid state, allow it to cool (the temperature should not exceed 60° C). Lower feet in liquid paraffin ankle, remove and wait until it hardens. After that, the treated limb be placed in the package, the warmth of their shelter. The warming procedure should last for 15-20 minutes, the optimum number of sessions 3-10. Paraffin heating is contraindicated with varicose veins, hypertension, and diabetes.

treatment of arthritis

Physical therapy

Arthritis accompanied by severe pain caused by joint damage and destruction. Movement will only aggravate the condition, so exercise therapy is indicated for the prevention or in the rehabilitation phase. Physical therapy for arthritis is aimed at:

  • activation of secretion of the synovial fluid;
  • normalize blood circulation and metabolism;
  • acceleration of tissue regeneration;
  • strengthening muscles, improving their functional characteristics;
  • restoration of mobility.

The amplitude of movement and frequency of repetitions should be increased gradually. After a workout you need to carry out muscle relaxation. A set of exercises for the ankle joint is the prevention of all diseases of the foot:

  • flexion of foot and toes (exercise in a sitting position);
  • rolls from heel to toe and Vice versa;
  • lifting on socks (at the support);
  • lifting small items off the floor with your toes;
  • riding foot ball or stick;
  • walking across the poles (draw middle part of the foot);
  • the circular movements of the feet.

Physical therapy

After reducing the inflammation, pain is physical therapy. The most effective physiotherapy are:

  • massage;
  • therapeutic mud;
  • electrophoresis;
  • diadynamic and others.

Folk remedies and recipes

There are many effective folk recipes to cure arthritis. The most popular and simple among them:

  1. Vegetable oil mixed with turpentine and camphor oil. Inflamed areas RUB therapeutic mixture before going to bed.
  2. In equal quantities mix the vodka, honey, grated black radish. Per Cup of the mixture add 1 tablespoon of fine salt. The heated mixture is rubbed into the joints.
  3. Inflamed foot wrap cabbage leaf (it is necessary to make an incision to release the juice) bandage. To change cabbage poultice every hour.
  4. From fresh sea buckthorn berries to make a paste and apply it on the affected joint, hold for 30 minutes, rinse without soap, wiped dry and lubricated with ointment.
  5. Beat 1 egg yolk with 1 teaspoon of turpentine to obtain a foam. Add 1 teaspoon of Apple cider vinegar. Daily smear the affected fingers.


Lesions of the feet arthritis is cured for prompt initiation of treatment, the therapeutic efficiency of the complex. With careful implementation of the recommendations of the physician joint mobility is restored, and quality of life returns. Otherwise, the process of tissue destruction becomes irreversible, and the disease can lead to disability.

prevention of arthritis


Any disease is easier to prevent. To prevent inflammation of the joints of the foot it is important to adhere to simple rules:

  • to choose comfortable shoes for everyday wear;
  • to avoid injuring the feet;
  • to treat the associated infectious diseases;
  • to avoid excessive physical load on the legs;
  • monitor body weight;
  • to prevent hypothermia.