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Tuesday, 05 December 2017 00:00

How Rheumatoid Arthritis Can Affect the Feet

Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic inflammatory disease that causes swelling in the heel and joints and can be very painful. It commonly affects the small joints of the feet. Corns and hammertoes can develop, and bunions may be exacerbated due to the weakened ligaments in the foot. Common symptoms that may occur include clicking and popping sounds, locked joints due to stiffness, and difficulty walking. Plantar fasciitis can also develop because the tissue that runs along the bottom of the foot becomes inflamed. Stretching exercises, which increases the flexibility of the foot and toes, can help bring some relief. Additionally, wearing comfortable and supportive shoes may also make your feet feel better. Avoid poorly-fitted footwear such as high heels, as they increase pressure on the feet. Please consult with a podiatrist for a proper diagnosis if you have pain in your feet. Podiatrists are trained to handle arthritis in the foot and ankle and will be able to help with the condition.

Because RA affects more than just your joints, including the joints in your feet and ankles, it is important to seek early diagnosis from your podiatrist  if you feel like the pain in your feet might be caused by RA. For more information, contact Dr. Harry I. Zirna of Lockport Foot Care, PLLC. Dr. Zirna will assist you with all of your podiatric concerns.

What Is Rheumatoid Arthritis?

Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disorder in which the body’s own immune system attacks the membranes surrounding the joints. Inflammation of the lining and eventually the destruction of the joint’s cartilage and bone occur, causing severe pain and immobility.

Rheumatoid Arthritis of the Feet

Although RA usually attacks multiple bones and joints throughout the entire body, almost 90 percent of cases result in pain in the foot or ankle area.


  • Swelling and pain in the feet
  • Stiffness in the feet
  • Pain on the ball or sole of feet
  • Joint shift and deformation


Quick diagnosis of RA in the feet is important so that the podiatrist can treat the area effectively. Your doctor will ask you about your medical history, occupation, and lifestyle to determine the origin of the condition. Rheumatoid Factor tests help to determine if someone is affected by the disease.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our offices located in Lockport and Medina, NY. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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