What is rheumatoid arthritis (RA)?

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disease that causes the immune system to attack the lining of the joint capsule (synovium), resulting in inflammation and joint damage. RA usually affects smaller joints in the hands and feet but can also affect larger joints such as the hips and knees.

RA is a chronic and progressive illness. There is currently no cure for RA, however there are many helpful treatments available.

Rheumatoid Arthritis

What does RA feel like?

RA commonly causes pain, swelling and tenderness in the affected joints. There may be joint stiffness, particularly in the morning. RA is usually symmetrical, affecting the same joints on both sides of the body.

Many people with RA experience periods when the condition flares up, and this may be followed by periods of little inflammation. RA can cause permanent joint damage and deformity, however early diagnosis and treatment can help to limit joint damage.

In severe cases of RA in the feet there is weakening of supportive structures such as ligaments, causing the toes become contracted and stiff and to point away from the big toe. Pain may also be felt in the ball of the feet due to retraction of the toes. Other signs associated with RA in the feet include:

  • Development of nodules in the feet
  • Prominent forefoot bones
  • Thickening of skin on the bottom of the forefoot
  • Swelling
  • Bunion deformity

What causes RA?

It is not known what causes RA. The risk of developing RA has been associated with smoking and/or having a family history of the condition.

How is RA treated?

If your feet are affected by RA then podiatry treatment is recommended to limit symptoms and joint damage. Podiatrists are able to provide advice to protect the joints in the feet such as wearing extra depth wide shoes and using special padding to reduce pressure on the top of the toes.

Research has shown that custom foot orthotics are useful to improve comfort and reduce pressure on the front of the foot caused by RA. Orthotics can also help to reduce the onset of retraction of the toes that often occurs with RA. Your podiatrist will be able to provide advice on the most appropriate treatment for your condition.

Visit Us Today

Brisbane CBD

LEVEL 13, 97 CREEK ST
BRISBANE Q 4000

Phone: 07 3229 9959
Fax: 07 3053 3128

Toowong

4/621 CORONATION DRIVE
TOOWONG Q 4066

07 3462 0268
07 3053 3128

Chermside

SUITE 15, LEVEL 2
956 GYMPIE ROAD
CHERMSIDE Q 4032

07 3359 8836
07 3350 2822

Morayfield

UNIT 5C, MORAYFIELD GARDENS
197 MORAYFIELD ROAD
MORAYFIELD Q 4506

07 5490 8222
07 3053 3128

North Lakes

1051B/1 N LAKES DRIVE
NORTH LAKES
MANGO HILL Q 4509

07 3491 6099
07 3053 3128

Margate

328 OXLEY AVENUE
MARGATE Q 4020

07 3889 5551
07 3053 3128

Strathpine

UNIT 1, 427 GYMPIE ROAD
STRATHPINE Q 4500

07 3881 3995
07 3053 3128

Logan

SHOP 1
1 WEMBLEY ROAD
LOGAN CENTRAL Q 4114

07 3299 2222
07 3053 3128

Robina

EASY T MEDICAL CENTRE
42 SCOTTSDALE DRIVE
ROBINA Q 4226

07 5503 6399
07 5575 8906

Mobile Podiatry

Entire Podiatry can provide mobile podiatry services in the comfort of your own home, at hospitals, nursing homes, for those who find it difficult to travel to a local clinic, or for anyone who does not want to visit a clinic at this time.

To book a mobile podiatry visit, please contact us on 1800 4 ENTIRE (1800 4 368 473) or fill in the enquiry form below.

Enquire Now