Arthritis is a condition that causes inflammation in your joints. Inflammation can lead to swelling, stiffness, and pain across your body, making it uncomfortable to perform everyday tasks. Arthritis in your feet can be especially difficult, as it can decrease mobility and severely impact your quality of life.
However, several treatment methods are available to help relieve your arthritic foot pain. Taking an active approach to managing your pain can help you maintain mobility and continue enjoying your daily life in a healthy way.
There are a many different types of arthritis. The most common kind is osteoarthritis, which develops when the cartilage between your joints wears away over time and with use, leaving your bones to grind against each other.
Rheumatoid arthritis is common as well. It’s an autoimmune disease where your immune system mistakenly attacks your body. Rheumatoid arthritis targets the thin membrane that lines joints, leading to pain and swelling.
Foot arthritis problems
Arthritis can develop in any joint of your body, and it’s common in feet. Arthritic foot pain affects nearly half of people over age 60, according to the Arthritis Foundation. Foot arthritis is inflammation around the joints in your feet, causing swelling, stiffness, or pain.
A common spot for arthritis to develop in the foot is the joint at the base of your big toe. With age and use, the cartilage of this joint becomes damaged. As your toe moves, it causes pain, and bone spurs may begin to develop.
Common areas affected by osteoarthritis are the foot joints that involve the heel bone, the outer mid-foot bone, and the inner mid-foot bone. When these joints are affected, it may be difficult for your foot to bear weight.
If your feet hurt, you’re less likely to use them. You might find yourself walking shorter distances or standing less. Arthritis in your feet can reduce mobility as you lose strength and flexibility. In serious cases, walking may even become impossible.
Managing arthritis in your feet
If you have arthritis, it’s important to visit the podiatrist at least once a year. At Podiatry Hotline Inc., Dr. Thomas Rambacher examines your feet regularly to look for changes that may cause problems if left unaddressed. Together, you can find the foot arthritis treatment option that’s best for you.
Several methods are available to help you manage your foot arthritis and keep you active. Over-the-counter NSAID pain relievers like ibuprofen and topical creams that contain capsaicin have been shown to help manage arthritis pain in many patients. Wearing supportive shoes that are comfortable and give your feet room to move can help relieve arthritic foot pain.
Prescription orthotics or braces help realign your feet and take pressure off painful joints. Orthotics can cushion your feet to help reduce the pain you feel in arthritic joints. If you have devices like orthotics or braces, visiting Dr. Rambacher regularly is important to make sure they’re still working effectively.
Some patients find exercising their feet helps maintain mobility and staves off the negative effects of foot arthritis. Exercises as simple as wiggling your toes can go a long way in helping you fight stiffness associated with foot arthritis. Remember that exercising and stretching shouldn’t hurt, so don’t overdo it.
You don’t have to live with the pain, swelling, and stiffness that foot arthritis brings. Make an appointment at Podiatry Hotline Inc. to start enjoying an active lifestyle again. Call our office or schedule an appointment online today.