Arthritis In Toes

– Can You Get Arthritis In Thumb Too?

By: - Joint Diseases - December 9, 2011 Comments Off on Arthritis in Toes – Can You Get Arthritis in Thumb Too?
arthritis in toes

If you think about all the rough treatment your feet get, it is a wonder that they last as well as they do. Each mile we walk, over 200,000 pounds of stress are placed on our feet. On average, by the time a person hits 50 years old, they have walked about 57,000 miles. If you do the math, that is an extreme amount of pressure that our poor feet take on. When you add arthritis into the mix, things definitely get worse. There are over 30 joints in the feet and many are around the toes.

When arthritis in toes begins to creep in, you will probably experience a loss of flexibility, an increase in pain, inflammation in your joints and even possible distortion of your feet and toes. If you look at some statistics, about 48% of people in their 60s to 70s have arthritis in toes and their feet. When arthritis in toes progresses, tiny bone spurs can occur which make walking very difficult, especially if you already have the pain of arthritis to contend with. When you have pain, you change the way you walk, for instance favoring one foot over another or twisting your ankles, knees or legs to find a way to walk with less pain. The problem is that you put more pressure on areas of the body that are not meant to handle it. This is where you will get in trouble with compounded problems on top of the arthritis.

Prevention is the best thing for arthritis in the toes and feet as well as the spread of arthritis to other parts of your body. If you already have arthritis, or think you do, see a doctor as soon as you can. You can get x-rays or possible MRI’s to determine if arthritis is the culprit of your problems. If you do not have arthritis in your feet and want to try to prevent it entirely, there are some great things you can do.

Losing weight, if you are overweight, can really help ease the instance of arthritis in the feet. Exercise can also help prevent arthritis and even if you already have arthritis, both methods will work to ease the pain of your condition. You should be eating a well balanced diet, wearing shoes with good arches and you can even take supplements, like garlic, that are good for joint care. When you have pain, anti-inflammatory drugs and icing your joints can usually take care of it. For extreme pain and discomfort, you should see your doctor for other methods.

Just like you can get arthritis in your toes and feet, getting arthritis in thumb and hands is also common. There is smooth cartilage that covers the joint in your hand where the thumb meets the palm. When this cartilage begins to deteriorate, arthritis in thumb occurs. When you get arthritis in thumb, it will become increasingly difficult to pivot, grip, move and pinch with the thumb.

Symptoms of arthritis in your thumb will almost always include pain, including when you grip or put pressure on the thumb. You will notice more pain when you do certain activities like turn a key in a lock or when snapping the fingers. You can get tenderness and swelling in the base of the thumb where the joint is and you will likely notice decreased strength. Some people will also notice a bump or growth form on the side of the thumb as well.

There are two main roads of treatment for arthritis in the thumb. When it is in the early stages, you can usually treat and even stop the spread of arthritis by using ice and anti-inflammatory medications like ibuprofen or aspirin. You may also want to try a splint on the thumb that limits motion and allows the joint to try and heal itself. For arthritis that has gotten more advanced, steroid injections can help as well.

If the medical route does not help the arthritis, surgery is the other option. Usually surgery can be performed on an outpatient basis and there are several types that are used. One option will fuse the bone together, but it will greatly limit your movement. Another option is to remove the joint and put in a replacement.  After surgery, you will usually be attending rehab and will be casted for several weeks.

If you suspect you have arthritis or you have been diagnosed already, getting on a treatment plan sooner, rather than later, can stop the disease in its tracks.

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