Osteoarthritis (OA), often called “wear and tear” arthritis, is the most common form of arthritis. It is a progressive, degenerative joint disease that causes damage to cartilage and bone. It is the arthritis most associated with old age and results when the protective cartilage on the ends of the bones wears down over time. Over pronation (excessive inward rolling of the foot) and over supination (excessive outward rolling of the foot) are often strong contributing factors to the development of osteoarthritis in the feet, ankles, knees and above. The feet are the foundation upon which the entire body rests. When they become misaligned, as with both over pronation or over supination, the entire skeletal system above also becomes misaligned. This can create a mechanical issue in the joints that, over time, can cause a breakdown of joint cartilage and bone, leading to the joint pain, stiffness, swelling and locking that characterize osteoarthritis.
Symptoms, Causes and Common Treatments
- Joint pain
- Joint stiffness
- Swelling of the joints
Osteoarthritis is the gradual deterioration of joint cartilage over time. Mechanical issues such as misalignment of joints can lead to osteoarthritis, as can repetitive motion that puts excess burden on a specific joint (as can happen in running, walking, dancing and in certain professions) and joint injury, often sustained in sports activities. The risk increases with age. Women are more prone to osteoarthritis than men, though it is not known why. Having diabetes, under active thyroid, gout or Paget’s disease can increase the risk of OA. People born with malformed joints or defective cartilage are more likely to develop OA.
- Reduce pressure on painful joints
- Ensure proper alignment of the feet and ankles
- Add arch supports (orthotics) to shoes
- Wear supportive shoes
Through the use of custom orthotics and supportive shoes, alignment of the feet can be improved or restored. Achieving proper alignment is preventative and therapeutic. It takes pressure off painful, arthritic joints and alleviates pain and joint breakdown.
Foot Solutions Products
- Custom-fitted, custom-crafted arch supports (orthotics)
- Over-the-counter arch supports (orthotics)
- Supportive sandals, dress and athletic shoes