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.
When Is Surgery Necessary
In some cases, surgery is needed to help alleviate pain. This is especially true if you cant walk without pain. Arthritis Health also notes surgery may be necessary if foot and toe deformities cant be managed with supportive shoes or braces.
There are different types of surgery available, such as fusion, resection, and joint replacement. The goal of surgery is to help fix the physical deformity, improve foot function so that walking and standing are comfortable, and, of course, relieve foot pain. Your doctor will decide which type of surgery are best suited for your case but ultimately, its up to you if you want to have the procedure. Work with your doctor to weigh the pros and cons of surgery.
Medications To Treat Foot Arthritis
Different drugs are used to treat foot pain from arthritis and related conditions.
Medications to ease pain and inflammation, slow bone loss, slow disease progress or prevent joint damage are important in treating many foot problems that cause pain. Medications used to treat arthritis and related problems that affect the feet depend on the condition. Here are the types of medications commonly used to treat musculoskeletal conditions.
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Including more than a dozen different drugs, some of which are available without a prescription, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are used to help ease arthritis pain and inflammation. They are used for all forms of arthritis. Most NSAIDs are taken orally, but topical preparations are available that can help foot pain, such as Voltaren Arthritis Pain Gel and Pennsaid.
Corticosteroids. These quick-acting drugs, similar to the cortisone the body produces, are used to control inflammation. If inflammation is due to a systemic inflammatory disease, your doctor may prescribe oral corticosteroids. If inflammation is limited to one or a few joints, your doctor may inject a corticosteroid preparation directly into the joint.
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Exercises To Relieve Arthritis Foot Pain
Arthritis is one of the top chronic health conditions of people 65 and over reported to the CDC yearly, and more so by women than men.
If left unchecked, arthritis can result in worsening problems with physical function and performing simple everyday activities like stooping to pick something up off the floor or tying our shoes.
The good new is that with some smart interventions, the progression of the disease can be slowed down or prevented. In this weeks video, were focusing on exercises to relieve arthritis foot pain and slow down the advancement of the disease.
How To Relieve Arthritis Pain
Cardio exercise and weight training aid in strengthening the muscles around the joints to help support and protect them from further damage. Stretching increases your flexibility and helps maintain joint mobility and range of motion to prevent the joints from fusing together.
Any kind of exercise is a good thing in that it increases fluids and synovial fluid so that stiffness lessens and pain from bone-on-bone friction decreases.
This week, were putting that in practice by taking our feet through several exercises for arthritis pain. Youll need a few basic items you probably already have around the house, including a towel, some marbles, and a couple rubberbands or hair ties.
I also highly recommend the Blue Emu cream I feature at the end of the video. You can view and order Blue Emu by clicking here. You can also see more of my favorite pain relief creams and gels in this post.
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Prevention Tips For Arthritis In Toes
While some factors behind toe arthritis cannot be controlled, there are a few steps you can take to reduce your chances of getting the painful condition.
Treat any injuries: Injuries play a role in toe arthritis, so be sure to get proper treatment if needed. You can protect yourself from injury by wearing shoes with toe protection when needed, picking things up off your floor, and walking with care.
Keep your weight under control: Removing excess stress on the feet from body weight can help. Every one pound of scale weight adds about four pounds of stress to the knees, which impacts the joints in your feet.
Manage your blood sugar levels: People with type 2 diabetes are twice as likely to have arthritis as those who dont. People with high blood sugar develop molecules that lead to stiff cartilage, while diabetics are also more prone to inflammation.
Stay active: Regular exercise helps strengthen muscles and relieve stress from joints. It also promotes circulation and helps keep joints limber, so shoot for at least 30 minutes of exercise per day.
Strengthen The Outer Thighs
Building up the muscles in your outer thighs will improve the health of your hip joint in the long run. Lie on the pain-free side and lift the affected leg about six inches high in the air. Hold the position for 2-3 minutes and lower the leg. You may start with one set of 10 repetitions and build it up to three sets of 10 repetitions a day .
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What Are The Symptoms Of Arthritis On The Top Of Your Foot
There are a few common symptoms associated with arthritis in the top of the foot. These include:
- Joint pain and discomfort in the midfoot
- Foot pain, especially after standing or walking for long periods
- Pain within the first few steps after getting out of bed in the morning known as start-up pain
- Joint stiffness
No matter where the pain of the foot and ankle arthritis is located, it is important to determine the source that is causing pain and develop ways to relieve pain quickly.
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 Some Common Symptoms Of Arthritis In Feet
Common symptoms of arthritis in the feet include joint pain or tenderness, joint stiffness or reduced motion, joint swelling, and difficulty in walking.
There are 33 joints in each foot, any of which may be affected. The anatomic areas most commonly affected by arthritis are: the ankle , the hindfoot , the midfoot , and the great toe .
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.
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How Are Ankles And Feet Affected By Arthritis
Any joint in your ankles, feet and toes can be affected by arthritis. Many different types of arthritis can affect the feet and cause joint pain, swelling and stiffness. Arthritis in the feet can make standing and walking painful. You may find your feet and/or toes change shape, making it harder to fit shoes.
Consider different forms of exercise to take pressure off painful feet. Make sure you have supportive, well fitting footwear.
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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Learn About Your Surgery Options
When foot arthritis is severe and conservative treatment options fail, surgical intervention may be an option. One type is a fusion of the big toe joint, which fuses together the two bones that make up your joint. This limits the joints range of motion, helping to eliminate the source of pain. Another option is joint replacement surgery for the toe joints. Both are considered end-game measures, but for people who are healthy enough to withstand surgery, it can allow them to function much better.
How Different Kinds Of Arthritis Hurt Your Feet
Various types of arthritis present differently in the feet.
- Osteoarthritis most commonly affects the first metatarsophalangeal joint that connects your big toe to your foot, although its also often found in the midfoot and ankle.
- Rheumatoid arthritis usually appears in both feet and affects the same joints in each foot. This is in contrast to OA, which typically affects one specific joint.
- Gout frequently affects only the feet, often the big toe. Read more about treating a gout flare.
- Psoriatic arthritis can also take a toll on toes, causing sausage-like swelling called dactylitis. PsA is often also accompanied by inflammation of the entheses, the places where tendons and ligaments attach to bones. In the feet this usually presents as plantar fasciitis, an inflammation of the band of tissue that connects the heel bone to the toes, as well as the bony projections known as bone spurs, which can cause pain if they press or rub on other bones or soft tissues.
- Ankylosing spondylitis also causes enthesitis, such as plantar fasciitis and pain at the Achilles tendon.
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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
Consult A Physical Therapist
Physical therapy absolutely comes into play when trying to manage arthritis foot pain and there are all kinds of PT modalities that can be used to decrease inflammation, including massage, whirlpool, cold packs, ultrasound, and lasers, Dr. Spielfogel says. Once the initial inflammation has been reduced, a physical therapist will develop a program of stretching and strengthening to restore flexibility and improve strength to increase balance and reduce stress on the foot joints.
Dr. Sutera finds that patients in the earlier stages of arthritis benefit the most from physical therapy, as they often still have flexibility and mostly need help restoring their balance.
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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.
Move More/maintain A Healthy Weight
While arthritis in the feet can greatly diminish your desire to maintain an exercise program, its actually very important that you stay active. A moderate exercise program aids joint function and reduces stiffness as well as pain.
Although high-impact activities, like jogging or tennis, are not recommended, lower impact activities such as swimming, gardening, walking or biking, are definitely beneficial.
Staying active is also a good way to maintain a healthy weight, which also helps reduce stress on the joints. Reduced stress will result in pain relief and better joint function.
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How Does Osteoarthritis Affect The Foot And Ankle
Each foot has 28 bones and more than 30 joints. The following are the most common foot joints affected by osteoarthritis:
- The three joints of the foot that involve the heel bone, the inner mid-foot bone, and the outer mid-foot bone
- The joint of the big toe and foot bone
- The joint where the ankle and shinbone meet
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Overview Of Arthritis Pain
There are actually more than 100 types of arthritis or related conditions, but to keep things simple lets discuss the two main forms of arthritis.
OA, known as osteoarthritis, involves the deterioration of the cartilage at a joint, mainly affecting weight bearing joints such as the knees, hips or spine.
Osteoarthritis symptoms may present themselves as tenderness, pain or being hot to the touch at the site of the affected joint. It generally worsens as the day progresses, so exercise may be most beneficial the earlier you can do it in the day.
RA, which is rheumatoid arthritis, can affect all joints in the body and is considered an autoimmune disease mainly having to do with the synovial membrane of the joints.
Early morning stiffness is common, with a loosening up as the day progresses making exercise more beneficial mid or late morning.
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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: