Arthritis is defined as an inflammation of joints, such as elbows and knees, finger joints and wrists. It can be degenerative and long lasting as well as localized. Arthritis that effects joints in your feet and ankles or hips and knees can make mobility impossible and cause a great amount of pain upon walking or other everyday activities. Weight bearing parts of your body may start to deteriorate from repeated stress and arthritis might be next on your list of physical ailments. Unfortunately, there are more than one hundred kinds of arthritis, and all of them have very similar symptoms.

Arthritic symptoms include swelling and inflammation of the joints, pain, joint stiffness and often immobility and bone deformity if not treated. The joints affected may also pop or grind in addition to the pain felt while suffering arthritis symptoms. These symptoms can also be combined with fatigue and fever. Since there are several kinds, however, it can be difficult to pin point exactly which condition is which. For example, osteoarthritis is often local to the weight bearing joints, such as the ankles and knees, and other bones in your foot. It can also break down the tendons in your feet and force the arches of your feet to fall, in a condition known as flat feet.

Osteoarthritis is the most common kind of arthritis. It is a condition in which the cartilage between the bones that connect at pivotal joints wears away and leaves the bones grinding against each other. This happens often when the body ages and the cartilage is worn away by time and overuse. This is why this particular kind of arthritis is called a degenerative bone disease. Swelling, inflammation, warmed skin and tenderness as well as severe pain are all symptoms of this condition. The pain often occurs with use of the affected limbs, but especially the hips knees and ankles. The ankles will bear the brunt of the pain, and it is mostly here where you will find redness and swelling.

Another kind of arthritis is Rheumatoid arthritis, and it is different from osteoarthritis in that it is an auto-immune disease. The immune system sees the fluid around the joints as a foreign body, and acts to remove it by causing inflammation within the joint. It also wears away the cartilage between bones and can lead to more severe forms. Arthritis symptoms that are symmetrical, occurring in both sides of the body like in the hands, wrists, or both ankles are all signals that one may have Rheumatoid arthritis. This bodily symmetry helps distinguish this particular condition from other arthritic symptoms. Since it generally attacks the parts with less cartliage first, expect a fair amount of pain in your ankles and when walking if you suspect that you have this disease.

Arthritis can make walking impossible when it effects your legs and feet. It causes pain in areas that bear weight and can be affected by repeated stress. Occasionally, surgery is required to prevent complete deterioration but does not often “solve” the problem because it is a chronic condition. All of these symptoms and ailments require a trip to the doctor for treatment, especially if the stiffening and pain is persistent or does not go away with rest.