rheumatoid arthritis is a long term condition which causes pain, swelling and stiffness in the joints. It initially affects the hands, wrists and feet, but due to the weight bearing nature of our feet, these are often the first to suffer. rheumatoid is an autoimmune disease, meaning the immune system which normally fights infection, attacks the cells which line the joints by mistake, causing the swelling, stiffness and pain.
It is still not clear what triggers this problem with the immune system, but you are at increased risk if there is a family history of rheumatoid arthritis, you smoke, or if you are a woman. it can often occur at a relatively young age which makes the damage to feet even more challenging, as the joint deformities will make shoe buying difficult. fashion footwear will not have an allowance for foot deformities and this can cause both physical and emotional distress.
However, the reality is that tight fitting footwear with no cushioning will be extremely painful, potentially cause corns and callouses and alter the posture of the person attempting to walk in these shoes. The poor posture will then overload the joints which are already inflamed, so it is a vicious circle which can only be alleviated by some sensible decisions when it comes to footwear.
properly fitted, well made footwear will not only relieve pain, but will also encourage activity – so you can keep doing what you love, improve your posture so you can live with less pain – live well, live happier!