What are Common Causes of Foot Joint Pain?

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  • Written By: Alex Tree
  • Edited By: Melissa Wiley
  • Images By: Allan Ferguson, Alila Medical Media,
  • Last Modified Date: 15 October 2018
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Some common causes of foot joint pain are forms of arthritis like osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, gout, and bunions. Osteoarthritis, also known as degenerative arthritis, is the most common type of arthritis, which normally develops later in life. Rheumatoid arthritis is a disease in which the immune system attacks the body, commonly causing foot joint pain and leading to deformities if not treated. In addition, gout is caused by the buildup of naturally produced acid around the joint, which crystallizes and causes pain. Lastly, bunions is a disorder in which the bone of the big toe begins to grow inward, eventually angling sharply and creating a bump called a bunion on the side of the foot.

Rheumatoid arthritis tends to cause inflammation around joints, with the hands and feet being the most frequently affected body parts. This inflammation can cause foot joint pain. In fact, sometimes the disease progresses enough to cause serious and permanent destruction of the joint. There is no known cure for rheumatoid arthritis, so treatment is usually focused on relieving pain and slowing the disease.


Gout is a form of arthritis, and its symptoms often include foot joint pain, particularly in the big toe. This condition is normally aggravated by cold temperatures, and the big toe tends to be colder than the rest of the body because of its distance from the heart. Gout normally occurs in people with poor diet, a genetic history of gout, and those who have other medical conditions, especially if they are taking medications. Many prescription medications are designed to stop a gout attack quickly and lessen the chance of further attacks. With a smart diet and generally healthy body that does not require medication, repeat attacks are usually either non-existent or far between.

When a person has bunions, the bone of the big toe gradually angles inward, with the bone and tissue around the joint enlarging to eventually become a noticeable bump. Bunions has the potential to cause foot joint pain, soreness, and numbness as the disorder progresses. Some people do not experience any symptoms and may only notice the characteristic bump on their foot. The cause of bunions is debated, but most researchers agree that genetics is a major factor, and some researchers argue that poor-fitting footwear at least contributes. Bunion treatment usually consists of the management of pain symptoms, involving medication and wearing specially fitted shoes, though some people opt for surgery for long-lasting pain relief or cosmetic reasons.



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