Arthritic Foot Care
Arthritis can affect anyone. As there are more than 100 types of arthritis, it’s important to get a proper diagnosis and treatment plan for your arthritis condition. Typical symptoms usually include pain, swelling, stiffness, and a lack of mobility in your joints. Arthritis is chronic and can occur sporadically. Symptoms can progress from mild to severe, making it difficult to perform everyday activities.
Arthritis can be a difficult condition to live with. If you are seeking treatment, contact one of our podiatrists from Tri-County Foot & Ankle. Our doctors will treat your foot and ankle needs.
During your lifetime, you will probably walk about 75,000 miles, which is quite a lot of stress to put on your feet. As you get older, the bones and joints in your foot and ankle can lose flexibility and elasticity, and your foot’s natural shock absorbers will wear down too. Having arthritis in addition to life’s wear and tear only makes matters worse; the joints will become distorted and inflamed, making arthritic foot care an important thing to consider for your overall health.
Alleviating Arthritic Pain
When dealing with arthritis, having additional foot complications – such as bunions, hammertoes, or neuromas – may be a serious detriment. To avoid these, buying well-fitting shoes with a lower heel and good support is a must. Having shoes with good arch support is highly recommended.
Aside from getting good arch support, the shoes need to fit comfortably and properly as well. A good place to start is by leaving a finger width between the back of the shoe and your foot to gauge proper size. It is also helpful to have a square or rounded toe box in the front to provide even more comfort. Another thing to look for is a rubber sole that can provide a cushion and absorb shock as you walk. This adds flexibility to the ball of your foot when you push off your heel to walk. Certain foot conditions may benefit from an ankle foot orthosis.
Exercise is another key aspect of arthritic foot care, as it not only strengthens and stretches the muscles and joints but helps prevent further injury and pain as well. Certain non-steroid, non-inflammatory drugs, or topical medicines may be recommended by your podiatrist to help ease arthritic pain. Be sure to visit your TCFA podiatrist to determine what method of care is best for you.
Stretching the Achilles tendon is a simple exercise that you can do at home anytime. Lean against the wall with your palms flat against the surface while placing one foot forward, towards the wall, and one foot behind you. Bend your forward knee towards the wall while keeping your back knee locked straight, and make sure both your heels are completely touching the ground at all times. This will stretch your Achilles tendon and calf muscles as well. You will feel the stretch almost immediately. You can also stretch your toes in a couple ways. One involves taking a rubber band and wrapping it around both your big toes while your heels remain together. Then, pull them apart to stretch your big toe. You can also place a rubber band around all the toes of one of your feet. Then, try to separate each individual toe, stretching them all.
Massages are another way you can temporarily alleviate pain. It is best to see your doctor for the treatment that is right for your needs and symptoms. Conditions vary, and a podiatrist can help you determine the right method of care for your feet.
A final step you can take to help your arthritis is taking non-steroid, non-inflammatory drugs or topical medicines with capsaicin. Unfortunately, there is no complete way to remove all of your arthritic pain. However, following some of this advice can go a long way in staying as pain-free as possible.