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.
Recognizing The Signs Of Arthritis In Your Feet
When you think about arthritis, you may think about it occurring in one of your major joints, such as your hips or knees. However, any joint in your body can develop arthritis. And your feet contain a lot of joints, with 28 bones and 30 joints in the average human foot.
Like any other joints, the ones in your feet and ankles can develop pain and swelling from arthritis. The good news is there are treatment options. In this blog, Kerry E. Berg, DPM, of Intermountain Foot & Ankle Associates explains some of the symptoms of arthritis of the feet and ankles and what you can do if you have the condition.
Early Signs Of Arthritis In The Feet
Arthritis in foot symptoms can start suddenly, or develop very gradually. Either way, they should be discovered early and treated accordingly. Here are seven main symptoms that could indicate arthritis in the feet.
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Safe Exercises When You Have Arthritis
When even walking around the block is uncomfortable because of arthritis in your feet or ankles, exercise may seem out of the question. While we understand your hesitation, exercise and stretching are two of the best ways to offset the pain, discomfort, and inflammation in your lower extremities, and these practices may even slow its progression.
At Neuhaus Foot and Ankle, our team of podiatrists wants to ensure you can make your way in the world without pain hindering every step. While theres much we can do here at our practice to help with arthritis, you can also improve your life at home with a targeted exercise and stretching regimen.
Since not all exercises are great for arthritic feet, here are a few tips for exercising with lower extremity joint pain.
What Does Rheumatoid Arthritis In The Feet Feel Like
When your feet are affected by rheumatoid arthritis, you may experience swelling, redness, and a feeling of warmth around the affected joints. Pain is very common as well. In one study comparing foot problems in RA patients versus people without arthritis, 98 percent of RA patients had foot pain and 96 percent reported some difficulty in function, compared to 76 percent and 66 percent, respectively, in the healthy group. Compared with osteoarthritis, which typically affects one specific joint, rheumatoid arthritis usually occurs in the same joints on both sides of your body so it commonly affects both feet at once. Symptoms may flare, then go into periods of remission. Heres more information about coping with rheumatoid arthritis flares. Over time, rheumatoid arthritis can cause joints to deform and shift out of place. Specific foot problems caused by RA include:
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Use Hot And Cold Therapy
Heat and cold treatments can help relieve arthritis pain and inflammation.
- Heat treatments can include taking a long, warm shower or bath in the morning to help ease stiffness and using an electric blanket or moist heating pad to reduce discomfort overnight.
- Cold treatments can help relieve joint pain, swelling, and inflammation. Wrap a gel ice pack or a bag of frozen vegetables in a towel and apply it to painful joints for quick relief. Never apply ice directly to the skin.
- Capsaicin, which comes from chili peppers, is a component of some topical ointments and creams that you can buy over the counter. These products provide warmth that can soothe joint pain.
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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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.
Foot And Ankle Arthritis Types
Arthritis is a general term for a group of more than 100 diseases. It can involve inflammation and swelling in and around your joints and the nearby soft tissue.
With many kinds of arthritis, your joints wear down over time. You slowly lose the smooth “cushioning” cartilage inside them. As a result, your bones rub and wear against each other. Soft tissues in your joints also may begin to wear down. After some time, the joint might not work or move the way it should.
- Osteoarthritis, or “wear-and-tear” arthritis, is the most common type. Doctors also call it degenerative joint disease or age-related arthritis. Osteoarthritis usually causes changes over many years. The foot and ankle joints where itâs most common are:
- The three joints involving your heel bone, your inner mid-foot bone, and your outer mid-foot bone
- The joint of your big toe and foot bone
- The joint where your ankle and shinbone meet
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What Causes Toe Arthritis
Everything from past injuries , osteoarthritis, gout, or rheumatoid arthritis can lead to toe arthritis.
Common forms of toe arthritis are rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. Lets more closely examine these and other damaging types.
Rheumatoid arthritis is often hereditary and can affect the entire body. This type of arthritis causes the foot arches to collapse and result in stiffness and swelling in the foot. As a result, the toes are generally forced into an uncomfortable, constricted position. Its the most common type of inflammatory arthritis and people who have it will often notice symptoms in the feet and toes.
Osteoarthritis can affect any of the joints in the foot, but it commonly causes arthritis in the big toe at the metatarsophalangeal, or MTP joint. The MTP joint is located at the bottom of the big toe. Toe arthritis can lead to the erosion of cartilage and cause stiffness and pain in the toe. When OA occurs in toes, its usually referred to as hallux rigidus.
Psoriatic arthritis: Psoriasis is an autoimmune disease that affects the skin. In some cases, it can move to the joints where it can affect the toes. Sometimes, psoriasis affects the joints before it spreads to the skin, but that is rather uncommon. If you believe you have psoriatic arthritis, early diagnosis is very important in stopping potential joint damage.
Types Of Arthritis That Affect Our Feet
Arthritis is a medical condition that affects our joints, causing pain, swelling and stiffness. One of the most common risk factors is age. That said, while arthritis mainly affects people over the age of 40, it can develop at any age. Here at Feet First Clinic, our chiropodists regularly treat patients who have arthritis in their feet. Likewise, foot-care experts note that 5 types of arthritis can target our feet. Today, well go over those with you, as well as the signs and symptoms of each type. Well also give you a list of treatment options that have been known to help patients live a normal, healthy life.
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What Can I Do About Arthritis In My Feet
When many people think of arthritis they imagine pain in the hands, hips, and knees, but it can affect any joint in the body including the toes, feet, and ankles. Fortunately, there are a variety of treatment options available.
Here at Podiatry Hotline Foot & Ankle in Mission Viejo, California, Dr. Thomas Rambacher offers both surgical and nonsurgical treatment options for foot and ankle issues, including arthritis. If youre having trouble walking or having to cut back on activities you love due to arthritis pain in your feet, come in to see us.
We administer personalized cutting-edge treatment with as little downtime as possible. Plus you get direct access to Dr. Rambacher via his cell phone in case you have a question after your appointment.
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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Causes Of Foot Arthritis
Arthritis can have several causes and heredity is the main one. The symptoms of arthritis can develop due to a wide variety of factors. Simple overuse can be behind the development of arthritis in the feet and ankles but it can also be the result of viral and bacterial infections, various types of drugs, both prescribed and illegal, or a traumatic injury.
Arthritis In The Heel And Ankle
Several types of arthritis, including OA, RA, AS, and PsA, can affect the heels and the ankles.
Symptoms of arthritis in the heel might include:
- Stiffness upon awakening in the morning
- Recurring pain in the heel
- Swelling of the heel
- Limited movement
- Skin changes, including rashes and growths
Inflammation at the heel from RA, AS, or PsA can lead to conditions that cause heel pain. This might include Achilles tendonitis, plantar fasciitis, or retrocalcaneal bursitis, a condition in which the bursa becomes inflamed, causing pain and swelling.
The ankle is not affected by arthritis as often as other joints, but it can be a source of severe pain and instability when it is affected. Additional symptoms of ankle arthritis include swelling and stiffness of the ankle and problems with mobility. Ankle arthritis will eventually affect gaitthe way a person walks.
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How Foot And Ankle Exercises Can Help
The following exercises can help improve flexibility and mobility in the feet and ankles, strengthen the muscles supporting your ankles, and prevent stiffness and inflammation. They can all be done while sitting straight up in a chair with your feet starting flat on the floor, and should all be done for each foot and repeated 10 times.
How To Cure Arthritis In Your Feet: Can Natural Remedies Help
This article was co-authored by Lisa Bryant, ND. Dr. Lisa Bryant is Licensed Naturopathic Physician and natural medicine expert based in Portland, Oregon. She earned a Doctorate of Naturopathic Medicine from the National College of Natural Medicine in Portland, Oregon and completed her residency in Naturopathic Family Medicine there in 2014.There are 18 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been viewed 28,826 times.
While arthritis is always a pain to deal with, it can be a particular problem if it affects your feet. This can make getting around difficult, so managing your symptoms is very important. Dont worry! While you can’t cure it, there are luckily a lot of things you can do every day to relieve your pain, and many of them are completely natural. Taking the right steps can keep you moving around easier so arthritis doesnt get in the way of your life. If you try these remedies and dont notice any improvement, then talk to your doctor for more treatment options.
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Skin Issues With Ra In The Feet
Changes in your foot shape can result in pressure spreading out unevenly across your foot as you walk. Excess pressure can result in skin conditions:
- Bunions are thick, bony bumps that develop in the joint at the base of your big toe or fifth toe.
- Corns are thick, hardened skin patches that may be larger and less sensitive than the rest of your foot skin.
If theyre not treated, both bunions and corns can develop into ulcers. These are open sores that result from skin breaking down due to a lack of circulation or tissue damage in the foot. Ulcers can become infected and cause further foot pain and damage.
Stretch Your Achilles Tendons To Increase Flexibility
You probably dont think about getting your feet in shape the way you do your stomach or your thighs. But exercising your feet can help increase your flexibility and mobility, important when you have arthritis in your feet. Good exercises involve stretching your Achilles tendon as well as the tendons in the balls of your feet and toes. A good exercise for arthritic feet is simply to wiggle your toes. Frisch has his patients use the TV as an exercise aid.
When a commercial comes on, use that time to wiggle, he says. Just dont overdo: Stretching is good to help joint mobility, but dont do it to the point where youre hurting yourself.
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