Dealing with Arthritis Foot Pain
Our feet and the joints connected to them are among the most used parts of our bodies. Over time the cartilage between the bones can become worn out due to use. With no cartilage to keep them apart your bones will start to grind against each other which can swelling and pain. This particular ailment is called osteoarthritis – the most common form of arthritis – and nearly half of all people in the sixties and seventies will suffer from it. That’s a lot of people with a lot of foot pain and left untreated it can create additional problems like bone spurs or decreased motion which can lead to making walking extremely difficult. There are ways to combat arthritis foot problems and mitigate some of the pain that comes with them.
What You Can Do Yourself
One of the things you can do yourself to fight foot and ankle osteoarthritis is to stretch. Consult a professional for exactly what stretches would be useful but those emphasizing your toes and the strengthening of your Achilles tendon are ones you should try. Like many foot issues, getting properly fitting and supporting shoes can help greatly in recovery and pain management. Make sure to get comfortable shoes with plenty of arch support. Consider getting a cane to take some pressure off at least until you can fix the problem more thoroughly. Topical medications can also be useful – look for over the counter creams, gels or lotions containing capsaicin – as it’s known to be effective on arthritis pain.
Getting Medical Help
If your osteoarthritis is progressing despite your own attempts to fix the issue you should get medical assistance to get more powerful options. Custom orthotics, or specially made shoe inserts that can support the ankle and foot, have proven to be effective in many cases. Additionally anti-inflammatory medications can be prescribed that can reduce the swelling and subsequent pain in your joints. Steroid injections into the affected area have also been shown to reduce swelling dramatically. In rare cases foot and ankle osteoarthritis can become so bad that surgery may be required to regain mobility either through fusing bones together with rods or plates, or by replacing the joint with an artificial implant.
There are many methods of dealing with arthritis foot pain and you do not need to accept chronic discomfort as just part of getting older. If you’d like to discuss potential options, Toronto podiatrist Sheldon H. Nadal D.P.M. is ready to help.