It’s a degenerative disease of joints that involves cartilage, bone, and synovia. With wear and friction, cartilage that surrounds the bones at a joint thins, becomes rough, and causes pain, deformity, and instability. Unstable joints often buckle or lock in place, especially the knee. Tenderness, stiffness, and pain of the joint, not getting relief from over-the-counter medications, pain changes with weather, joint swelling, restricted movement, creaking and grating, and bony enlargement are common symptoms. Pain in the joint develops gradually, worsens with use and is relieved with rest. Pain and stiffness increase with damp weather and low air pressure because nerve fibres in the capsule of the knee are sensitive to changes in atmospheric pressure. An X-ray is used to diagnose osteoarthritis. It affects more women than men. Mild to moderate pain can be treated with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as aspirin or ibuprofen. Other treatments may include surgical and non-surgical therapies, such as orthotics, well-cushioned shoes, and physiotherapy. A family doctor would make the diagnosis and may refer the client to a podiatrist or chiropodist.
Did you know? If you have Plantar Fasciitis, inflammation of the plantar fascia, you can: use RICE (rest, ice, compression, elevation) and tape the afflicted area for 1 to 5 days to achieve pain relief and support. Then, wean into orthotics and/or shoes with good arch support. Also, support pes planus or pes cavus and use anti-inflammatory medications for pain. The use of TENS and ultrasound are also recommended.
This type of ulcer is a complication of Diabetes. It’s a break in skin integrity where harmful bacteria can easily invade and multiply. The cause is often peripheral neuropathy or peripheral vascular disease. The ulcers most commonly associated with Diabetes are neuropathic, arterial and venous.
Neuropathic ulcers are caused by frequent friction on parts of the foot where there is the most weight. It often occurs on the bottom of a great toe or 1st metatarsal head. This type of ulcer is often painless, surrounded by a callous, and round in shape.
Ischemia, or decreased arterial blood flow to the feet causes arterial ulcers. These are most serious and are often located on the heels, tips of toes, between toes, sides or soles of feet, lateral malleoli, and metatarsal heads.
Venous ulcers happen due to lack of return of venous blood flow to the heart and accumulation of this blood in the lower legs. This makes the skin dry, itchy, dark in colour, swollen, and flakey. The site of venous ulcers is often on the lower legs and inside of the ankles.
Footwear that does not fit is a big cause of foot ulcers. Things to watch out for to prevent ulcers are: decreased circulation and lack of sensation.
Over the counter preparations that include Salycylic acid, dichloroacetic or trichloroacetic acids are most affective. But never put this preparation on intact skin. Use a piece of adhesive tape (ex. Leukoplast) and cut a hole in the middle for the wart to isolate it. Apply the preparation to the wart and cover with another piece of tape. Keep it there dry for one week. The wart can then be shaved down. The whole process can be done again on a weekly basis until the wart is gone. Cryotherapy, which is freezing the wart with liquid nitrogen, is also effective but must be done by the physician. If you have diabetes or peripheral vascular disease Do Not shave down (pare) the wart.
Try occlusion therapy. That means using duct tape to stick on the wart and just around it. The wart will dry up and disappear. Only make sure that the skin around it is intact.