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How Rheumatoid Arthritis Can Impact Feet

Rheumatoid arthritis, or RA, a chronic autoimmune disorder, can relentlessly target the feet, causing considerable discomfort and impairing mobility. In RA, the immune system mistakenly attacks healthy tissues, leading to inflammation in the joints, including those in the feet. The toe joints, ankle joints, and subtalar joints are often affected, resulting in pain, stiffness, swelling, and deformities like bunions and hammertoes. Managing RA in the feet requires a multifaceted approach. Medications such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs, and biologic agents can alleviate symptoms and slow disease progression. Custom orthotics and supportive footwear aid in maintaining foot function and reducing discomfort. In severe cases where joint damage is significant and conservative treatments prove ineffective, surgery may be necessary to repair or replace damaged joints. If you are feeling the effects of RA in your feet, it is suggested that you consult a podiatrist for tailored management strategies and ways to improve overall foot health.

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 Jill Scholz, DPM of Town Square Family Foot Care. Our doctor 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 office located in Coralville, IA . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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