Walk On: Tips for Managing Arthritis in Your Feet

Walk On: Tips for Managing Arthritis in Your Feet

When your feet hurt life is miserable.  There are many causes of foot pain:  Injury, overuse, achilles tendinitis, bursitis (joint inflammation) Diabetic neuropathy (nerve damage caused by diabetes), plantar fasciitis, bunions, corns, calluses, and stress fractures.  Did you know that arthritis is a common cause of foot pain?

30.8 million Americans suffer with osteoarthritis.  Osteoarthritis (or OA) is a slowly progressive joint disease.  This disease causes the cartilage, or tissue that cushions the ends of bones between joints, to break down.  When this cartilage breaks down it allows the bones to get bigger.  Which leads to deterioration of tendons and ligaments and inflammation of the joint lining.  OA commonly occurs in the hands, spine, hips, knees and toes.  Osteoarthritis is a top cause of disability in older people.

In your foot arthritis mainly affects your big toe and the middle of your foot.

Symptoms of OA:

  • Joint pain and stiffness
  • Knobby swelling at the joint
  • Cracking or grinding noise with joint movement
  • Decreased function of the joint

If you are experiencing pain in your feet while walking, standing or doing any activity that put weight on your feet, then you should see a health care professional to get a diagnosis.

To diagnose if you are suffering from arthritis a doctor will do a physical exam and take xrays to determine if your joints are showing deterioration.

Risk Factors:

  • Middle age to elderly
  • Family history of OA
  • Obesity
  • Prior traumatic joint injury
  • Repetitive overuse of joints
  • Joint deformity

Generalized Treatment for Osteoarthritis:

  • Lose weight
  • Increase exercise to improve muscle strength
  • Use a walking cane
  • Massage and chiropractic manipulation can help
  • Take pain relief medication: Acetaminophen, NSAIDS, Topical rubs such as – capsaicin cream, lidocaine and diclofenac gel.
  • Cymbalta
  • Shots of Cortisone or Hyaluronic acid
  • Surgery: arthroscopy, or joint replacement
  • Supplements of calcium, vitamin D and omega -3

Specific Foot Pain Tips:

  • Change out your shoes: look for shoes that are supportive, have a good insole and are higher and wider on the sides.
  • Obtain shoe inserts or orthotics that support the arch of the foot
  • Foot rubs and warm foot soaks
  • Stand up and roll a tennis ball under your foot putting as much pressure as feels comfortable.
  • Take OTC anti-inflammatory
  • Go low or no impact activities. (Walking in a swimming pool, riding a stationary bike or recumbent bike, choosing an elliptical machine rather than the treadmill)

These tips may help you with your foot pain.  I highly recommend massaging your feet with the tennis ball. That feels wonderful for aching tired feet!

For Foot Pain Relief:

  • 1Change up your shoes for shoes with better support.
  • 2Take an OTC anti-inflammatory.
  • 3Go low and no impact with your exercise.

The Arthritis Foundation notes that one study found that losing 10 pounds can relieve 40 pounds of pressure from your knees.


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HealthStatus has been operating since 1998 providing the best interactive health tools on the Internet, millions of visitors have used our health risk assessment, body fat and calories burned calculators.The HealthStatus editorial team has continued that commitment to excellence by providing our visitors with easy to understand high quality health content for many years.
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HealthStatus has been operating since 1998 providing the best interactive health tools on the Internet, millions of visitors have used our health risk assessment, body fat and calories burned calculators. The HealthStatus editorial team has continued that commitment to excellence by providing our visitors with easy to understand high quality health content for many years.

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