According to research conducted by scientists at the Leiden University Medical Centre in Holland, rheumatoid arthritis may be triggered through a microbial infection. Researcher Diahann Jansen has stated that the study shows common bacteria in the flu virus as well as acne. “It doesn’t necessarily mean if you get acne you will get rheumatoid arthritis, but it is possible that if you encounter such a pathogen at some point your immune system will start a response to that pathogen,” stated Jansen. This new discovery is only the beginning in understanding the relationship between microbes and rheumatoid arthritis.
Understanding where RA starts will help treat and prevent the condition. If you are suffering from rheumatoid arthritis, contact one of our podiatrists of New England Foot and Ankle Specialists. Our doctors will treat your foot and ankle needs.
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. Severe pain and immobility are caused by an inflammation of the lining of your joints, and in worse cases the destruction of the joint’s cartilage and bone can occur.
Rheumatoid Arthritis of the Feet
Although RA usually attacks multiple bones and joints throughout the entire body, many cases result in pain in the foot or ankle area. Pain will often initially present in the toes before the condition worsens and spreads throughout the entire foot.
- Swelling and pain in the feet
- Stiffness in the feet
- Pain on the ball or sole of the feet
- Joint shift and deformation
Quick diagnosis of RA in the feet is important so that your podiatrist can treat the area effectively. Your doctor may ask you about your medical history and lifestyle to help determine possible causes of your RA.
Unfortunately, there is no cure for RA, so treatment options are designed to specifically target the symptoms of it, most notably the pain it causes. Two types of anti-inflammatory drugs – non-steroidal or NSAIDs and corticosteroids – may be prescribed by your doctor. In some severe cases where the joints are too badly damaged, surgery may be an option. As always, speak with your podiatrist to help determine the appropriate treatment options available to you.
If you have any questions please feel free to contact our offices located in Reading, MA. We offer the newest diagnostic tools and technology to treat your foot and ankle needs.