Arthritis is an inflammation of the joints. The locomotor apparatus changes with age which also effects the function of the feet. Our joints are the basis of our mobility. To reduce friction the articular surfaces are coated with a layer of cartilage. Once the cartilage coatings are lost by erosion or disease any movement will result in pain and stress. The cartilage gradually loses its elasticity. It will turn brittle, fragmented and will ultimately be destroyed. Such damage causes more friction, the bone gets affected and this is when arthritis occurs.
Foot specialists today have a number of advanced methods available for treating the different stages (1-4) of arthritis. For example, resurfacing implants, stiffening plates or full joint replacements can be used. This depends entirely on the experience of the foot specialist and the individual patient requirements.
Physical activity counteracts the age-related loss of muscle mass. Trained muscles are the best protection for the joints. Regular and moderate exercise in older people suffering with arthritis has a positive effect. Joints must be used to retain their function. Inactive joints result in stiffness. Regular exercise also promotes better care of the cartilage through nutrients and prevents fat deposits building up on the sliding surfaces of the joints. When suffering with arthritis the patient should clarify with the specialist which exercise activity would be most suitable for them.