Osteoarthritis is better known as the ‘wear and tear’ arthritis that develops over many years of wearing down the joints. Osteoarthritis can develop in any joint, and in the lower limbs, most often affects the knees, ankle, big toe and midfoot joints.
Osteoarthritic joint pain develops because the cartilage that covers the ends of our bones is worn down. The purpose of cartilage is to help absorb shock, acting as a rubbery cushion. It also creates a slippery surface for bones to move smoothly and efficiently past one another. As the cartilage is worn down, bones start to rub against one another. This causes pain, restricts movement, and can ultimately change the shape of the joints, preventing them from functioning effectively.
While the initial changes may be painless, the symptoms tend to progressively worsen as the bone damage worsens. You may experience:
Osteoarthritis is caused by the natural use and loading of our joints over the years. The rate of the bony degeneration may be accelerated by:
While the degenerative changes to the cartilage from arthritis are irreversible, the painful symptoms can be managed to help improve your comfort and mobility. You can also reduce the rate of progression of osteoarthritis by addressing the potential causes, like misalignment in the joints. Here at Masterton Foot Clinic, we can help by: