Each of your feet has 33 joints. This means, your feet are just as susceptible to arthritis as other joints in your body. It can be difficult to pinpoint the cause of foot pain because the foot’s joints are far less flexible than other joints in the body. This is why you may need to pay close attention to the signs and symptoms.

Let’s take a look at how different types of arthritis cause foot pain.


Osteoarthritis ranks as the most common form of arthritis you can develop because it’s the kind that stems from wear and tear. It develops when you lose cartilage at the ends of your bones over time. Cartilage acts as a protective barrier and shock absorber that helps your joints move smoothly.

Osteoarthritis usually affects the spine, hips, knees, and hands. However, it can affect the joints in your feet, as well. When osteoarthritis develops in your foot, you may notice swelling and pain in an area of the foot. You might also notice that you can’t move it as much as you once could. It is common to experience osteoarthritis symptoms in one foot, not necessarily both.

Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis is a type of arthritis that occurs when your immune system mistakes synovium (joint lining) as an intruder. This causes your immune system to attack it, leading to inflammation, pain, swelling, and tenderness in the affected joints. As it progresses, it can cause joint deformities. Typically, rheumatoid arthritis affects the smaller joints first, including those in your feet.

With rheumatoid arthritis, your joints can become stiff, particularly in the mornings and when you’re not active. Since it’s an issue caused by your immune system, you may develop fatigue, loss of appetite, and fever in addition to joint-related symptoms.


Gout is a form of arthritis caused by the accumulation of uric acid crystals in your joints. It’s a common condition that stems from too much uric acid buildup. Uric acid comes from the breakdown of purines, which are chemicals that are found in drinks with high-fructose corn syrup, some fish, organ meats, beer, and other foods.

Once uric acid builds up and crystallizes in your joints, it causes pain that’s usually severe. You might also have tenderness or redness in the affected toe, as well.

Typically, gout will arise in your big toe before any other joint in your body. This is because the crystals form where your body temperature is lower. Your big toe is the joint that’s furthest away from your heart, making it the coldest part of your body.

Psoriatic Arthritis

Psoriatic arthritis typically occurs when you have psoriasis. Typically, you’ll develop psoriasis first, but some people develop joint pain first. Psoriatic arthritis can occur in any joint of the body, including your toes and fingers.

This kind of arthritis arises when your immune system attacks your healthy cells, such as the ones in your joints. Common symptoms include joint pain, swelling, and stiffness. Symptoms may range from mild to severe, and patients tend to have flare-ups along with intermittent remissions.

Why Choose Our Foot Doctors in Cincinnati, OH for Your Foot Pain

At Cincinnati Foot & Ankle Care, we have several podiatrists who have extensive experience treating all sorts of conditions and injuries affecting the foot and ankle, including all types of arthritis. If you suffer from foot pain and would like to find relief, visit us today. We will thoroughly examine you, provide an accurate diagnosis, and recommend the best treatments available.

Book an appointment with Cincinnati Foot & Ankle Care, serving regions of Southwest Ohio, by calling one of our locations or using our online contact form. Relief from foot pain starts with scheduling a visit!