Its Not Surprising That You Can Feel Arthritis In Your Feet: The Disease Predominantly Affects Your Joints And Your Foot Contains More Than 30 Of Them
If you live with arthritis, chances are you feel the painful effects in your feet. Feet are tremendously affected by arthritis, says Vinicius Domingues, MD, a rheumatologist in Daytona Beach, Florida, and medical advisor for CreakyJoints.
Indeed, osteoarthritis , the most common type of arthritis, affects the feet of one in six people over the age of 50. With rheumatoid arthritis , the most common type of inflammatory autoimmune arthritis, more than 90 percent of patients develop symptoms in the foot and ankle over the course of the disease. In about 20 percent of RA cases, foot and ankle symptoms are even among the first signs of the disease.
Its not surprising that you can feel arthritis in your feet: The disease predominantly affects your joints, and your foot contains more than 30 joints.
Give Your Feet Some Air
There are a multitude of reasons to wear shoes, but your feet were never intended to be confined to a dark, smelly box. Going barefoot whenever possible is good for your foot health, and it can also help correct problems with pronation and supination when you walk. The air keeps your feet dry, reducing the environment for fungal growth, and walking on bare feet toughens the soles. Going barefoot keeps pressure off of sore and inflamed joints, easing arthritic pain, and increasing your mobility. If going barefoot is not your thing, wear open sandals as much as possible or open-toed and open-backed shoes.
Best Running Shoes: New Balance Fresh Foam 1080 V11
Available in mens and womens sizes and styles
Responsive foam footbed
Very thick sole
If you have arthritis and are looking for a solid running shoe, this is it. The Fresh Foam 1080 V11’s highly cushioned footbed comes standard in all shoes in this line for both men and women. Three widths and a soft, stretchy knit upper that offers 360-degree support make these an incredibly comfortablebut highly supportiveoption.
Sizes Available: Men’s sizes 7-16 women’s sizes 5-13 | Materials: 50% synthetic, 50% mesh rubber sole | Width: Narrow, Standard, Wide, X-Wide | Arch Support: Neutral | Weight: Men: 9.3 oz women: 8.1 oz
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Best For After Exercising: Sportscreme Deep Penetrating Pain Relieving Rub
Courtesy of Amazon
Extra-thick consistency, so it takes longer to rub in
Although you can certainly use Sportscreme in situations where exercise or movement wasnt involved, it is a good option for those with arthritis who may have overdone it on a particular day with walking, housework, gardening, or other activities. Or, if youre doing something that you anticipate will leave you sore, you can also use the product ahead of time. Sportscremes clean fresh scent is polarizing: some find it pleasant, while others would prefer a product with no scent at all.
Price at time of publish: $9
Active Ingredients: Trolamine salicylate | Dose: Apply generously to the affected area. Massage into painful areas until thoroughly absorbed into skin. Repeat as necessary, but not more than four times daily. | Uses: Temporary relief of minor aches and pains
Problems Linked To Low And High Arches
Arches that are higher or lower than average can increase your risk of developing other problems, such as:
- valgus heel
- corns and calluses.
The self-care tips can help ease pain in your arches.
Changing your footwear to a well-made running trainer that you feel supports the shape of your arch may prevent further painful changes to the structure of your arches.
Insoles and arch supports can help but its best to visit a foot specialist, such as a podiatrist, to get ones designed specifically for your foot shape.
If youre buying new footwear its best to take any adaptations, such as insoles, padding, or arch supports with you, as you may need a larger shoe size to fit them in comfortably.
Losing weight, if you need to, can reduce the strain on your arches and may prevent further long-term changes.
You may find it difficult to do exercises that put a lot of pressure through your feet. Swimming is a good way to improve and maintain your fitness because the water supports your body weight.
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Best Budget: Vionic Malibu Slip On At Vionic
Courtesy of Zappos
Comes in a variety of colors
Only comes in medium width
Comfortable right out of the box, these shoes are from podiatrist-approved brand Vionic and come at a lower price point than most of their productsmaking their well-constructed shoes accessible to more people. With an upcycled cotton upper and a sole made from a combination of rubber and soybean-based compound, theyre not just friendly on your feet: theyre friendly to the environment too. Plus, if they get dirty because youre wearing them so often, just pop them in the washing machine.
Sizes Available: Womens 5-11 | Materials: Cotton canvas textile upper, TPR outsole | Width: Medium | Arch Support: Neutral
Who Can Help My Foot Or Ankle Pain
There are trained healthcare professionals who specialise in diagnosing and treating problems affecting the foot and lower leg.
Podiatrists are trained foot specialists, they used to be called chiropodists. They can offer you:
- advice on padding, dressings, specialist insoles, splints and supports
- advice about footwear and exercise
- small non-surgical procedures
- advice on medication
Different areas have different rules for who can be referred to an NHS podiatrist. Some only refer people if they have rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, or peripheral arterial disease. Other authorities may have broader terms.
If you visit a podiatrist privately you will need to pay for your appointments and any treatment. However, they can refer you for some services, such as scans or x-rays, on the NHS.
You can find a private podiatrist by visiting:
Physiotherapists are trained to use movement, exercise, manual therapy, and advice to help get your foot and ankle moving again. They will show you exercises to practice at home to support your recovery.
In some areas you can self-refer to an NHS physiotherapist. Otherwise, your doctor will request an appointment for you.
You can see a physiotherapist privately, though you would have to pay for your treatment. To find a registered private physiotherapist visit the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy.
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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.
Happiness Is A Clean Foot
Soaking your feet in a warm tub bath provides relief from joint pain, as the heat soothes your inflamed tissues and tired muscles. Keeping weight off of your feet in a tub, as opposed to a shower, also helps reduce your arthritic pain. Bathing your feet on a regular basis keeps the skin from drying out and calluses from forming. Calluses cause additional foot pain, as they change the fit of your shoes this can cause an increase in arthritic foot pain as more pressure is applied to the affected joints.
Take good care of your feet. You only have the one pair, and they are always ready to take you wherever your life demands you go. Be nice to your feet, and they will return the compliment, giving you years of pain-free travel. Should you develop arthritis in your feet, you will need to take care of them more than ever, with proper shoes, topical analgesics, and some spa time. You will definitely reap what you sow when you give your feet the attention they deserve.
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Medical Treatment For Foot & Ankle Arthritis
If you are diagnosed with arthritis in the foot or ankle, NYU Langone doctors often recommend a combination of treatments to lessen discomfort and prevent further joint damage. These may include modifying activities that put stress on the affected joints, using orthotic inserts and braces, taking medication, or receiving corticosteroid injections that provide longer-term pain relief. People diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis may require medications to control the bodys immune response, in addition to some of the following therapies.
Find Help For Arthritis In Feet
If you suffer from arthritis in the foot, toe, or ankle, there are ways to find relief. You dont have to live with the pain from arthritis. From lifestyle changes to surgery, you have options. Working a pain specialist who has advanced experience treating patients with arthritis pain is your best bet to getting the relief you need.
You can find a PainDoctor.com-certified pain specialist in your area by clicking the button below. Theyll work closely with you to provide the comprehensive care you need to get back to a life with less pain.
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Best Boots: Drew Bronx Boots
Courtesy of Shoe Mall
Removable footbed with arch build-up
Takes a while to break in
These boots offer so many features that its hard to keep track of them all. From an extended heel stabilizer to a heel notch, a tempered steel shank, to a soft, padded tongue and collar, every part of this boot is designed to fully support both the foot and ankle. As a bonus, the insole wicks moisture away from the foot, keeping it not only dry but reducing odor.
Sizes Available: Mens 7-16 | Materials: Leather upper, polyurethane outer, leather and Drilex lining | Width: Narrow Medium Wide 4W 6E | Arch Support: Maximum arch buildup
Get A Soothing Foot Massage
Ahh … who doesn’t love a relaxing massage? The soothing effects of massage aren’t just great for your back or shoulders. A foot massage may sometimes provide foot pain relief, Frisch says. Knead the balls of your feet as well as your toes, starting at the top and working your way down to the base. You can do it yourself or ask your partner to help you.
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When Conservative Treatments Arent Enough
If the treatments above dont help, or your arthritis continues to get worse, Dr. Berg may recommend surgery for your feet or ankles.
One procedure Dr. Berg may recommend is fusion surgery. With this surgery, Dr. Berg fuses specific bones together with pins, rods, plates, or screws. Another procedure Dr. Berg may recommend is joint replacement therapy. With this surgery, your damaged joints are removed and replaced with artificial joints made out of metal or plastic.
If you have arthritis in your feet or ankles, or if you want to see if you do and want to learn about treatment options, book an appointment online or over the phone with Intermountain Foot & Ankle Associates today.
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Skin And Nail Changes
daizuoxin / Getty Images
Inflammatory arthritis, especially PsA, can cause skin and nail changes. For example, rashes associated with PsA and psoriasis can occur anywhere on the body, including on the feet. PsA is also associated with a condition called palmoplantar pustulosis, which can cause tiny, pus-filled blisters on the soles of the feet.
Up to 80% of people with PsA will have nail involvement. Toenail symptoms are also common in people with RA.
Nail changes associated with arthritis include pitting , discoloration, brittle nails, and onycholysis .
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Contact Our Foot And Ankle Joint Experts For Relief From Pain In An Arthritic Joint
If you are experiencing pain, stiffness, and a lack of mobility in your foot or ankle region, you may have arthritis. When the pain is specifically coming from the midfoot or top of the foot area, you may have a bone spur from an arthritic joint. Any of these conditions can be very painful and difficult to live with. Rather than endure the discomfort, contact our ankle surgeons at Rogers Foot and Ankle Institute today.
Our podiatrists have the knowledge, skills, and training to make sure your foot and ankle arthritis symptoms are reduced or eliminated. We will examine your feet, determine the cause of your pain, and develop a customized treatment plan for your situation. to schedule a consultation. Contact us at 801-756-4200 to schedule a consultation today.
We look forward to getting you back on your feet.
Risks Of Steroid Injections For Arthritis
There are some risks associated with steroid injections for arthritis. These risks include pain at the injection site, infection, and tissue damage. In some cases, the steroids can also leak into the surrounding tissues and cause side effects such as weight gain, acne, and mood swings. Its important to speak with your podiatrist about the potential risks of steroid injections.
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Popular Supplements For Arthritis: What You Need To Know
Learn which supplements and vitamins might help with arthritis symptoms, and what risks some can pose.
Several nutritional supplements have shown promise for relieving pain, stiffness and other arthritis symptoms. Glucosamine and chondroitin, omega-3 fatty acids, SAM-e and curcumin are just some of the natural products researchers have studied for osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis .
Some of these natural remedies may offer arthritis symptom relief, especially when you use them in conjunction with traditional treatments. Heres the evidence on some of the most popular supplements used to treat arthritis, and how they work.
Glucosamine and Chondroitin
Glucosamine and chondroitin are two of the most commonly used supplements for arthritis. Theyre components of cartilagethe substance that cushions the joints.
Research on these supplements has been mixed, in part because studies have used varying designs and supplement types. A large National Institutes of Health study called the GAIT trial compared glucosamine and chondroitin, alone or together, with an NSAID and inactive treatment in people with knee osteoarthritis . Glucosamine improved symptoms like pain and function, but not much better than a placebo. Yet a 2016 international trial found the combination to be as effective as the NSAID celecoxib at reducing pain, stiffness and swelling in knee OA.
How to Take Supplements Safely
What Is Foot Arthritis
Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis because it is associated with aging. Arthritis foot pain can occur in various locations throughout the foot, including the top of the foot. If a patient is suffering pain in the mid-foot bone region, that may signify that they are developing arthritis in the inner mid-foot bone or the outer mid-foot bone.
They are tasked with carrying our body weight and providing us with the range of motion to walk and run. In our feet, there are 26 separate bones. Where these bones rub together are the locations where the bone joint cartilage wears down. The midfoot region can be compared to the joint area between the wrists and hands. The tarsal bones are long and tubular, and the joints for these bones need to accommodate all the types of surfaces that you may walk on.
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Are There Any Complications
Osteoarthritis can sometimes cause other problems for your feet, which may get worse if the condition isnt treated.
If osteoarthritis in the feet is left untreated, cartilage can wear away completely. This might cause the bones of your foot to join together. When this happens in the big toe, its known as hallux rigidus.
This can make it more difficult to move your big toe and you may have trouble walking. Sometimes bony growths may appear on the top of your toe.
Hallux rigidus and osteoarthritis in your big toe can cause this toe to lean towards your other toes. When this happens, its called a bunion or hallux valgus.
A bony lump can then form on the side of your big toe. Sometimes you might have red or swollen skin over it, and it can also cause hard skin. You might feel unsteady while standing and walking.
Corns and calluses
Corns and calluses can form on your feet in areas where theyre exposed to pressure, or the skin is repeatedly rubbed. This might be because of uncomfortable shoes. Corns are small, hard lumps of skin, and calluses are patches of thicker skin that feel rough.
Corns and calluses can sometimes be caused by other problems with your feet, such as bunions.
Home Remedies For Foot Arthritis Pain
When you have arthritis in your foot or ankle, one of the most important things is to wear comfortable shoes. Look for these details:
- Shoes shaped like your foot
- Shoes with good support
- Rubber soles for more cushioning
- Proper fit ask a salesperson for help
Exercise can help keep your feet strong, flexible, and pain-free. Moves that can be good for your feet include:
- Achilles stretch. Face a wall with your palms flat against it. Step one foot forward and one foot back. Lean forward, keeping your heels on the floor. Feel the pull in the Achilles tendon and calf of your rear leg. Hold for 10 seconds. Repeat this exercise three times on each side.
- Big-toe stretch. Put a thick rubber band around your big toes. Use your muscles to pull them away from each other and toward your other toes. Hold this position for 5 seconds. Repeat 10 times.
- Toe pull. Put a rubber band around the toes of each foot, and spread your toes. Hold this position for 5 seconds, and repeat the exercise 10 times.
- Toe curl. Pick up marbles with your toes.
Other home remedies for arthritis are:
- Over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen and naproxen. These can have side effects like stomach irritation, so check with your doctor before taking them.
- Creams with menthol or capsaicin, which may stop your nerves from sending pain signals
- Putting heat or cold on the area
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