Osteoarthritis (OA) is often called the ‘wear and tear’ arthritis. It occurs when the cartilage of a joint (a thin layer of gristle that covers the end of the bones and allows them to glide over each other) becomes damaged. When the cartilage deteriorates, the bone underneath can thicken, causing pain, stiffness and swelling. The joints most affected are the knees, hips, hands and big toes.
In severe cases, the cartilage can deteriorate to the extent that the bones rub together, making it difficult to move the affected joint at all. Symptoms vary from person to person and some people may have OA without experiencing many symptoms at all.
You may initially feel a toothache-type ache in the affected joint that gets worse when you’re active, wearing high heels or when it’s cold and damp. It may progress to the stage where your feet ache at night. In severe cases, the range of movement in the joint may fail to the extent that you can’t move it at all. If you are worried that you have OA you should see a podiatrist. The earlier you are diagnosed, the more effective any treatment will be
• Painkillers, steroids, exercise, footcare, surgery, padding and strapping. There are also creams and gels which can be absorbed into the bloodstream if rubbed on the affected joints when they are painful, such as after exercise or at the end of the day.
Sources 10-12: https://cop.org.uk/foot-health/common-foot-problems/