Relieving The Pain Of Rheumatoid Arthritis Of The Foot

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By Dr. Parul K. Patel

seniorjoggerRheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic disease affecting more than 1.5 million people in the United States. While the disease can affect any joints in the body, small joints in the feet and hands are often the first affected. About 90% of people with RA eventually develop symptoms in the ankle and the foot at some point, according to a study in The Open Rheumatology Journal.

Rheumatoid arthritis leads to an oversensitivity in the lining that lubricates joints and helps them move. This leads to inflammation that causes damage to the joint as well as ligaments and surrounding tissues. As the ligaments weaken, it may lead to joint deformities in the foot as well as bone softening and collapse. RA usually affects both feet and the same joints in each foot. Areas of the foot affected by RA include:

• The hindfoot or heel. As RA develops, you may have trouble walking on uneven surfaces and experience pain beneath the fibula outside the foot. Eventually, the alignment of your foot can shift and lead to flatfoot as well as more pain on the outside ankle and the tendon inside the ankle.

• The midfoot or top of the foot. RA weakens the ligaments supporting the midfoot, potentially causing the arch to collapse. As you lose the arch of your foot, your foot may collapse and the front of your foot may begin to turn outward. Rheumatoid arthritis can also lead to cartilage damage that causes pain.

• The forefoot or the ball and toes of the foot.
People with RA often develop deformities in the toes and forefront of the foot such as claw toes, bunions, and pain under the ball of the foot. Bunions can become so serious that the big toe actually crosses over the second toe. The small toes may dislocate and deform into clawtoes that make it painful to wear shoes.

Treating RA Foot Pain

While there is no cure for rheumatoid arthritis, there are treatment options that can reduce the pain and discomfort of foot symptoms. RA foot care generally begins with wearing correct footwear. This means avoiding narrow-toed shoes and heals and choosing shoes with a low heel and high ceiling. Orthotics can also reduce foot pain, support the arch, and potentially prevent many common foot deformities.

Steroid injections into affected joints can also relieve pain by reducing inflammation of the joint lining. A foot specialist can recommend the best course of action to treat your pain and may recommend a special exercise regimen that avoids excessive pressure on the foot.

Surgery is often required to alleviate RA pain and correct foot deformities like bunions and hammer toes. Depending on the problem, surgery may involve correcting the position of joints and bones, fusing or resetting joints, or removing boney growths.

If you are dealing with RA symptoms in your feet, it’s important to see a foot specialist before the problems worsen and lead to serious deformities or an inability to walk.

– Dr. Parul K. Patel, DPM of Infinity Foot & Ankle is a podiatric specialist who offers comprehensive podiatric care in the Greater Dallas area. Dr. Patel treats a wide variety of foot conditions including rheumatoid arthritis with a combination of preventative, medical, and surgical care.

New Drug Found To Cure Rheumatoid Arthritis

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Thank you to PRWeb for supplying this article. What are your thoughts on these findings and reports, please share in the comments section below…..

newsBeverly Hills rheumatologist Dr. Susan Baker comments on a new drug trial that could revolutionize treatment of Rheumatoid Arthritis for patients.

The findings from a promising drug study for treatment of Rheumatoid Arthritis in mice is set for human trials this year. Published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), the researchers, lead by Teresa Hemmerle of the federal technology institute ETH Zurich in Switzerland, discovered a compound that cleared the affected mice of their symptoms.

Using one of the body’s own immune cells, interleukin 4 (IL-4), and fusing it with an antibody found in certain disease specific inflamed tissue and tumors, the researchers found that the combination of the two elements used together completely eradicated the arthritis induced swelling and inflammation in the toes and paws of the affected mice within days.

“The implications for human uses of this study are very exciting,” said Dr. Susan A. Baker, a rheumatologist in Beverly Hills. “The treatment for Rheumatoid arthritis up to this point has mainly focused on managing pain and slowing long term joint damage and deterioration for as long as possible. The potential for a drug with curative effects would be a watershed moment in the treatment of Rheumatoid Arthritis.”

Rheumatoid Arthritis, an autoimmune disorder that causes painful swelling and inflammation in the joints and can lead to long term joint damage and deterioration currently does not have a cure. While the trajectory between human trials and the availability of a cure can be long and complicated, the researchers are very hopeful that their findings will lead to a viable treatment option for humans down the line.

“Any research or new information that can enhance our treatment options for patients is always a welcome addition,” added Dr. Baker.

The researchers found that when used separately, the components worked to slow the progression of the RA symptoms in the mice, but it was the combination of the two that produced the breakthrough results.

Board certified in both internal medicine and rheumatology, Dr. Baker has been practicing medicine in Beverly Hills since 2003. In addition to her primary practice, she holds teaching position at Cedars Sinai Hospital. and is a clinical instructor of medicine for UCLA, David Geffen School of Medicine. Dr. Baker has been recieved numerous awards including the “Patient’s Choice Award” and the “Most Compassionate Doctor” award.

To contact Susan A. Baker MD, Rheumatology & Internal Medicine please visit http://susanbakermd.com/, or call (310) 274–7770.