Shoes For Arthritis
Special Shoes For Arthritis Sufferers
Shoes for arthritis sufferers are not restricted to a few specialty types, although some sufferers may require what is in essence a custom-made shoe. The very nature of arthritis and its many forms suggests that shoes for arthritis will also take on many forms. in many and perhaps most instance, a person with arthritis in his or her feet can get by fine with ordinary off-the-shelf shoes, with avoidance of certain shoe styles being the only restriction.
A Disease Of The Joints - There are several types of arthritis, but whatever the type it is the joints that are affected. If you think of the foot as a system of joints, bones, tendons, ligaments, and other tissue, how all of these components work together, as they must, depends greatly on the health of the joints. When one suffers form arthritis it means that the cartilage and lining of one or more joints has become inflamed, and the joint itself may experience an increase in fluid. A majority of those having arthritis have it in either their hands or their feet, the reason being that is simply where most of our joints are located. There's a far greater chance, at least statistically, of getting arthritis in one of the 30 or so joints in the foot, than in getting arthritis in an elbow joint.
Inflammatory arthritis is the most common, usually taking the form of rheumatoid arthritis. Osteoarthritis, though less common overall, most often strikes the big toe, and this is the area where most people with arthritis in the foot are apt to first feel pain. However, whatever joint or joints are involved, walking can become a painful task and once that occurs the arthritis needs to be treated. In the meantime, attention needs to be paid to the shoes, both to provide comfort to the wearer, and to aid in treatment of the condition.
Special or custom made shoes for arthritis sufferers are usually required when the arthritis has caused a deformation in the foot or toes. Shoes need to be constructed or shaped to take the deformity into account and/or to allow the person to walk without putting pressure on the affected joints. In less severe cases regular shoes can be worn using orthopedic inserts designed to relieve a person's pain while on his or her feet. A brace of one design or another is still another approach.
It's Not Just The Feet - The first signs of arthritis in the feet are pain, stiffness and possible swelling. More often than not, with the exception of osteoarthritis affecting a big toe only, more than one joint is affected and both feet are often affected. Bones can eventually shift in their location, joints may stiffen, and conditions such as hammer toe or flat feet can result, depending upon which joints are affected. Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) can of could affect many parts of the body. A person having symptoms of RA elsewhere could eventually develop the condition in their feet as often happens. Similarly, RA may appear in one or more joints in the feet first, and spread to other joints at some later time. Symptoms of pain and swelling in both feet is usually a good sign that RA is the cause, and this is often confirmed through testing by the presence of an antibody in the system called the RA factor, an indication that RA is present.
Unless the severity of the RA condition requires special shoes be constructed, purchasing shoes for arthritis may consist of nothing more than selecting shoes with a deep toe box to relieve pressure on the joints, or a shoe having a rigid heel and a soft arch support. The name of the game really is to provide a shoe that allows one to walk or run in comfort, while at the same time treating the arthritis through appropriate medication or physical therapy. If the shoes appear a little box-like, the relief gained from the pain of arthritis more than makes up for any issues of style.