Treatment Options For Foot Arthritis
There are lots of things we can do to help reduce the pain of your foot arthritis. Pain relievers can help with discomfort, while anti-inflammatory medication can decrease swelling in the joints.
Wearing proper-fitting shoes with support and rubber soles for cushioning is essential. Or we can make you special orthotic inserts or custom shoes to support your foot and ankle.
Specialized exercises to stretch the Achilles tendon and toes can help with strength and flexibility. Using canes or braces for support, and losing weight may improve arthritis pain as well.
Other treatment options Dr. Rambacher may recommend include steroid injections, fusing the joints together to lessen friction, or surgically removing any troublesome bone spurs. We also offer stem cell therapy to help regenerate new cartilage.
If you’re tired of arthritis pain in your feet making you uncomfortable and reducing your mobility, Dr. Rambacher is ready to treat your foot arthritis. You can or use the online booking tool to make an appointment today.
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What Is Treatment For Arthritis In The Feet
There is no cure for arthritis, but the pain associated with it can be reduced drastically for some patients. The goals of treatment are to:
- Manage symptoms
- Control inflammation
- Preserve or restore joint function
Many patients find the best foot arthritis treatment is one that uses a number of complementary therapies to find relief. A combination of natural treatments, such as orthotics and exercises, along with medication and interventional strategies can help you get back to your life.
Looking After Your Feet
Its important to take care of your feet if you have osteoarthritis in your feet or ankles. A good footcare plan can help reduce the likelihood of you developing other problems that could make your pain worse, such as corns, calluses, or ingrown toenails.
There are a number of things you can do yourself, including:
- washing your feet every day in warm, soapy water dont soak your feet unless you have problems with hard skin or ingrown toenails
- drying your feet well, including in between your toes
- moisturising your feet all over, except for between your toes
- cutting your toenails regularly, cutting straight across the nail doing it at an angle or down the sides could lead to ingrown toenails.
If you have corns or calluses, try:
- soaking your feet in warm water to soften the skin
- using a pumice stone or foot file to remove hard skin
- moisturising your feet to keep the skin soft.
Its a good idea to get your feet checked regularly by your GP or a podiatrist. This is important if you have any problems with your feet that dont get better after a few weeks.
Podiatrists , also known as chiropodists, are specialists in treating foot problems. You can either be referred to an NHS podiatrist by your GP or, in some areas, you can refer yourself.
You could also pay to see one privately. Either way, you should make sure theyre registered with the Health and Care Professionals Council .
When getting new shoes, consider the following tips:
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What Is Osteoarthritis Of The Foot And Ankle
Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis. It mostly affects the hands, knees, hips and spine, but it can happen in any joint in the body, including the feet and ankles.
A joint is a part of the body where two or more bones meet. Your ankle joint is where the tibia and fibula bones in your leg join up with your foot. There are 33 joints in the foot, but the big toe is the one that is most commonly affected by osteoarthritis.
The joints in your body go through a normal cycle of damage and repair during your lifetime. But sometimes the process your body goes through to repair joints can change their shape or structure. When these changes happen in one or more of your joints, its called osteoarthritis.
The ends of our bones are covered in a tough but slippery surface, known as cartilage. This allows the bones to move against each other. The bones are held in place by ligaments. Tendons attached to our muscles and bones help us to move around.
Osteoarthritis causes damage to the cartilage, which results in pain and swelling, and can sometimes mean the bones rub against each other as we move. Osteoarthritis doesnt just affect the cartilage, but can also cause damage to the bones, ligaments, tendons and lining of affected joints.
Osteoarthritis can affect anyone at any age, but its most common in people over 45. It affects more women than men. The risk of developing osteoarthritis is commonly linked to:
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Symptoms Of Foot And Ankle Osteoarthritis
What osteoarthritis foot and ankle pain feels like differs depending on what specific areas it affects.
There are 28 bones and more than 30 joints in the human foot. The foot joints that are most commonly affected by osteoarthritis include:
- The three joints of the hindfoot
Many people experience stiffness as well as pain from osteoarthritis. The affected joint may feel like it needs to be cracked or that it feels out of joint, but popping the joint does not relieve the sensation.
The usual symptoms associated with foot osteoarthritis include:
- Pain and stiffness in the affected foot
- Swelling near the affected joint
- Limited range of motion
- Difficulty walking
- Bony protrusions
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What Is The Recovery Like Following Foot Arthritis Surgery
Recovery from surgery requires two weeks of elevation to allow the wounds to heal and to speed recovery. Depending on the surgery, you may require a shoe for six weeks with follow-up X-rays. Swelling and minor pain may go on for several months but should not stop one from returning to daily activities.
Do not hesitate to book an appointment with Mr Hamilton if youre concerned about your foot arthritis.
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Circulatory Problems With Ra In The Feet
Some common circulatory issues in your feet that can result from RA include:
- Atherosclerosis. Also called hardening of the arteries, this happens when your arteries become narrow from plaque buildup. This can cause pain and cramps in your lower leg muscles.
- Raynauds phenomenon.This happens when blood is partially or fully blocked from reaching your toes. This results in blood vessels spasming and causing numbness, and abnormal color changes in your toes from white to blue to red. The toes can feel cold due to decreased blood flow.
- Vasculitis. This happens when your blood vessels get inflamed. This results in skin rashes, ulcers, and other possible symptoms like fever, loss of appetite, and fatigue.
RA cant be fully cured. But there are plenty of treatments to help relieve the symptoms of a flare-up, as well as reduce the number of flare-ups and prevent joint damage.
Here are some of the most common treatments for RA in your foot:
Here are a few tips to help relieve RA symptoms in your foot:
See your doctor as soon as possible if you notice any of the following symptoms of RA in the feet or elsewhere in your body:
- swelling in your feet or ankles
- skin ulcers on your feet or ankles
- foot pain that gets worse over time
- severe foot pain that makes it difficult to walk or do any activities with your feet
- losing range of motion in your foot or legs
- persistent, uncomfortable tingling or numbness in your feet
- abnormal weight loss
- persistent, abnormal exhaustion
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What Are The Types Of Ankle Arthritis
There are three main types of arthritis affecting the foot and may include:
Osteoarthritis: Also, called degenerative joint disease, this is the most common type of arthritis and occurs most often in older people. This disease affects cartilage, the tissue that cushions and protects the ends of bones in a joint. With osteoarthritis, the cartilage starts to wear away over time. In extreme cases, the cartilage can completely wear away, leaving nothing to protect the bones in a joint, causing bone-on-bone contact. Bones may also bulge, or stick out at the end of a joint, called bone spurs.
Rheumatoid Arthritis: This is an auto-immune disease in which the bodys immune system attacks healthy joints, tissues and organs. It can cause pain, stiffness, swelling, and loss of function in joints. Rheumatoid arthritis affects mostly joints of the hands and feet and tends to be symmetrical. This means the disease affects the same joints on both sides of the body at the same time and with the same symptoms.
Post-traumatic Arthritis: Arthritis that develops following a foot injury is called post-traumatic arthritis. The condition may develop years after the trauma such as a fracture, severe sprain or ligament tear.
Best Shoes For Arthritis In Feet
Shoes for arthritis are another common way to relieve pain. As EveryDay Health explains:
Wearing comfortable, supportive shoes is key. Shoes should be wide enough so that they dont press on any bunions or calluses. Skip the high heels because they put more pressure on the balls of your feet. Arch support is essential to stabilize joints that are moving more than they should, which can happen with arthritis, explains Frisch. The toning athletic shoes that are popular these days can be a good choice for foot health.
The Arthritis Foundation has given their Ease of Use Commendation to the Gravity Defyer brand. These arthritis shoes help take some of the pressure off your foot and are available in multiple widths, depending on your foot.
It doesnt stop at the shoes. Talk to your doctor about arthritis compression socks that can also help increase circulation and reduce pain. You can also use orthotics, such as pads in your shoes, to help relieve pressure from growths.
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What Are The Treatment Options For Foot Arthritis
Non-surgical treatment options for foot arthritis include medications , injections , physical therapy, ankle-foot orthosis , weight loss, orthotics such as pads or arch supports, and canes or braces to support the joints. Surgery may be required to treat foot arthritis if your symptoms do not improve with conservative treatments. Surgery performed for arthritis of the foot includes arthrodesis . This is a very successful option for the patients not responding to the non-operative management.
What Are The Treatment Options For Arthritis Of The Feet And Ankles
There are many different treatment options available for arthritis of the feet and ankles. The best treatment option for you will depend on the type of arthritis, the severity of your symptoms, and your overall health.
Standard treatment options include:
- Pain relief medications: over-the-counter or prescription pain relievers can help to reduce pain and inflammation.
- Steroid injections: these injections can help to reduce inflammation in the joints.
- Physical therapy: physical therapy can help strengthen the muscles around the joints and improve the range of motion of the affected joints.
- Surgery: in some cases, surgery may be necessary to repair damaged joints.
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Arthritis Risks And Complications That May Develop
In most cases, arthritis cannot be cured and the disease will continue to progress. Even with the best of treatment, arthritis of the foot and ankle may continue to cause you pain or require you to limit your activities.
Severe disability from arthritis is rare, however, and usually seen in persons with rheumatoid arthritis.
Frequent use of anti-inflammatory medications is known to cause gastrointestinal upset. People with rheumatoid arthritis are at higher risk for complications, such as peripheral neuropathy, infection, and skin or muscle problems.
Coping With Arthritic Feet
- Steroid medications to be injected into the affected joints
- Custom-made shoes, shoe inserts, or arch supports to support your ankles and feet
- Physical therapy that includes foot exercises and stretches
Your doctor might recommend surgery if other treatments dont work to manage foot and ankle arthritis. Surgical options might include:
- Arthrodesis: Also called fusion surgery, this involves fusing bones together with rods, pins, screws, or plates. When bones heal, the bones will stay joined.
- Joint replacement surgery: Also called arthroplasty, this surgery is used only in severe cases. The surgeon will take out damaged bones and cartilage and replace them with metal and plastic.
Home remedies you can try to help you cope with arthritic feet include:
- Creams containing capsaicin or menthol: These creams may stop the nerves from sending out pain signals.
- Hot or cold packs in the affected areas
- Gentle exercises, including yoga and tai chi
Making changes to your lifestyle can also help you to feel better and keep arthritis in your feet from getting worse. Lifestyle changes might include choosing low-impact exercises like swimming rather than high-impact ones , maintaining a healthy weight to keep stress off joints, and reducing or avoiding activities that trigger symptoms in the feet and ankles.
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How Rheumatoid Arthritis Affects The Feet
Joints are covered with a lining called synovium. Its job is to lubricate the joint so it moves more easily. RA causes an overactivity in this lining. The synovium becomes inflamed, thickens, and produces an excess of joint fluid. That extra fluid along with the inflammatory chemicals released by the immune system causes swelling, damages cartilage and softens the bone within the joint. A systemic disease, RA also affects ligaments and surrounding soft tissue, says Brett Sachs, DPM, foot and ankle surgeon in Colorado. When that happens, the joints start to weaken and thats when the deformities can occur, explains Dr. Sachs, who is also a fellow member of the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons. Rheumatoid arthritis tends to affect the joints in your feet more quickly in part because they are smaller, says Dr. Sachs. Research shows in about 20 percent of RA patients, foot and ankle symptoms are the first signs of the disease.
Arthritis Foot Pain Treatment
Rogers Foot & Ankle has a team of specialty-trained doctors dedicated to helping you get to the root of your foot problems.
We work carefully with all our patients to provide a high level of individualized care. We want to help you get to the root of your problem to get the short or long-term care you need and tips to prevent issues that could occur in the future.
Our team of foot and ankle doctors also can help with a variety of issues affected by arthritis foot pain, including:
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What Are The Signs Of Arthritis In Feet
If you suffer from foot arthritis, youll likely experience the following signs of arthritis:
- Pain with motion
- Difficulty bending the joint
- Locked joints, in severe cases
For those with arthritis in toes, putting on shoes can be difficult. For others, getting out of bed in the morning can cause excruciating pain. The growths associated with arthritis can even change the shape of your feet. Simply put, foot arthritis can be a serious, debilitating condition that negatively affects your overall quality of life. Thankfully, there are some ways to ease symptoms, as well discuss later.
Make Sure The Shape Of Your Shoes Matches The Shape Of Your Feet
That may mean a roomy toe box to accommodate bunions or hammertoes, or an extra-wide shoe to reduce pressure on painful spots. Sturdy, supportive shoes are crucial to ease arthritis foot pain. Custom orthotics or a good over-the-counter shoe insert can provide even more comfort and extra support, adds Dr. Sachs. These inserts can help rebalance the foot, give your arch more support, and help cushion the ball of your foot. Talk to your doctor to determine the best footwear for you. Here are more tips for picking the right shoes when you have arthritis.
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What Is The Treatment For Foot And Ankle Arthritis
A doctor will prescribe treatment for foot and ankle arthritis depending on the stage of the condition and how the symptoms manifest. If your arthritis in the foot and/or ankle is minimal, you may find comfort in home remedies and exercises. However, if you have advanced arthritis, a doctor may recommend a surgical treatment. See below for several popular treatment options.
Home Remedies and ExercisesIf you suspect you have arthritis in the foot and/or ankle, you should limit impact activities, which include running and jumping. Activity modification is an essential part of ankle arthritis treatment. Similarly, people who are overweight may benefit from weight loss or control losing weight decreases the pressure placed on the foot and ankle joints and can alleviate some tension.
There are also several strengthening exercises and stretches that are beneficial to people with mild arthritis. Mild exercise can ease arthritis pain and stiffness, but be careful to not overdo it.
Medications and Non-Surgical TreatmentsIn mild foot and ankle arthritis, shoe modifications can alleviate pain and stiffness. Cushioned inserts can help alleviate symptoms, and a rocker bottom on a shoe sole can help support the joint. To prevent excessive motion in the affected part of the body, a brace may also be recommended to help hold the ankle joint in position. These braces are known as ankle-foot-orthoses, or AFOs, and are available at most pharmacies.
Set A Weight Loss Goal
When it comes to arthritis, what your scale says really matters. People with a higher body weight are diagnosed with arthritis at an earlier age and have more severe arthritis. It makes sense: Feet are a weight-bearing joint, so obesity makes arthritis worse, says Dr. Domingues. Even one extra pound on your frame can equal about five extra pounds of force on your feet. Losing 20 pounds can mean sparing your feet from an extra 100 pounds of force with every stride.
Excess body weight also increases inflammation, which fuels the painful symptoms of inflammatory types of arthritis like rheumatoid arthritis and psoriatic arthritis. Its not easy to lose weight when you have stiff or sore joints, but even a five- to 10-percent reduction in body weight has been shown to dramatically diminish joint pain and improve exercise tolerance. Check out these weight loss tips that are especially helpful when you have arthritis.
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