In your home, wires and plumbing are usually buried behind walls or in a basement or crawl space. You may not know you have a problem until a light decides to stop working or you hear water dripping somewhere, and it can be tricky to track down the source. The same can be true of your body, in that you may need to dig a little to find out why you’re having issues with—for example—painful feet or ankles. We want to share a few signs of rheumatoid arthritis that may help you figure out what’s wrong.
- Sprain not getting better? If you have achiness and swelling in your ankle, you may think you sprained or twisted it. If it doesn’t improve after a week or two, you may need to think again. The stiffness and pain of an arthritis flare can last for several weeks or months.
- Can’t wear heals anymore? If your forefoot aches or feels irritated and warm, you could have metatarsalgia, but you could also have rheumatoid arthritis. Any joint in your foot is susceptible to attack by your immune system, including those near your toes and heels.
- Both feet hurt? If the pain and stiffness affects both ankles or the same toe joints on both feet, you might suspect RA.
- Morning stiffness turning into all day stiffness? Osteoarthritis and plantar fasciitis can both cause stiffness and pain in your feet when you first get up, but once you start moving, they usually subside. With RA, they may continue for most of the day. Ask us about types of exercise that could help.
- Joints locked in place? Although this often happens in the knees and elbows, it can happen with your big toes, too. Called hallux rigidus, it can occur when the tissues around the toe joint become so swollen that it locks in place and you may not be able to bend it.
If you have any of these signs, mention them to your doctor, or—better yet—make an appointment with Advanced Foot & Ankle Specialists of Arizona. Our entire training and experience is devoted to how various health issues affect your feet, so podiatrists are the experts you want when you need diagnosis or treatment for arthritis or any other issues in your lower limbs. Dial (480) 981-1800 for our office in Gilbert, AZ or (480) 963-9000 to reach us in Chandler, and put them in the care of our Metro Phoenix foot experts.