How your feet work
Arthritis Curehow to Arthritis Cure for Feet have a complex structure consisting of 26 bones, more than 30 small joints (where bones meet) and many muscles, tendons, ligaments and nerves.
Arthritis Curehow to Arthritis Cure for Problems in the feet and ankles are often, but not always, associated with arthritis.
Most feet have an arch shape that spreads the body''t have any for 1 last update 2020/05/28 significant health conditions, you should still seek help if your foot problem:Most feet have an arch shape that spreads the body''t have any significant health conditions, you should still seek help if your foot problem:
- involves ulceration of the skin or is infected
- impairs the blood flow to the skin
- has caused pain for more than three months
- is getting noticeably worse
- is changing the colour of your skin, especially if it''re on drugs which suppress your immune system (including steroids or biologics) or if you have a history of poor skin healing.
How are foot problems diagnosed?
In most cases a simple clinical examination is all that is required. This usually involves looking carefully for signs such as swelling, combined with a short hands-on exam to work out which structures might be involved. Sometimes it is helpful to have the person walk up and down to see what happens during weight-bearing and routine activities.
It is less common for foot problems to require blood tests or imaging (for example, X-ray or ultrasound) to reach a diagnosis.
The feet and ankles can be affected by several types of arthritis, including osteoarthritis and inflammatory arthritis.
Osteoarthritis can affect any joint in the foot. Osteoarthritis is a chronic problem that may cause episodic pain and swelling in a joint or joints; it can also cause bone enlargement. As people get older, osteoarthritis can be linked to changes in the shape of feet, which may cause pain.
Arthritis Curehow to Arthritis Cure for Osteoarthritis often affects the big toe joint. The joint will the 1 last update 2020/05/28 become stiffer and the range of movement will be reduced. Often the bones become larger and knobbly due to an overgrowth of new bone. These changes may accompany a bunion (a lump on the side of the big toe joint). You may also notice a bunionette (a lump on the side of the little toe joint).Osteoarthritis often affects the big toe joint. The joint will become stiffer and the range of movement will be reduced. Often the bones become larger and knobbly due to an overgrowth of new bone. These changes may accompany a bunion (a lump on the side of the big toe joint). You may also notice a bunionette (a lump on the side of the little toe joint).
Recent findings suggest that osteoarthritis is more common in the arch area of the foot than previously thought. Osteoarthritis can also develop in the ankle, but this is usually following a previous injury or damage to the joint from long-standing inflammatory arthritis. Osteoarthritis in the feet often accompanies osteoarthritis in other joints.
Read more about osteoarthritis.
Arthritis Curehow to Arthritis Cure for There are various forms of inflammatory arthritis, which can affect feet in different ways.
- Rheumatoid arthritis can affect many joints in the feet.
- Reactive arthritis usually affects the ankle or the area around the heel. It may also affect the toes, causing pain and swelling, which is known as dactylitis.
- Psoriatic arthritis often causes dactylitis.
- Gout most commonly affects the big toe joint. It is a very painful type of arthritis. Gout causes severe inflammation and makes the joint red, hot and swollen during an attack, which typically lasts one to two weeks. Without treatment, repeated attacks can cause permanent damage to the joint and lead to osteoarthritis. It is caused by the formation of urate crystals in a joint. However, gout can usually be well controlled with medications.
- Ankylosing spondylitis mainly affects the spine but may also affect the heels.
Apart from problems in the joints themselves, people with inflammatory arthritis may have inflammation and discomfort in the tendons and the other soft tissues in the feet. The part under or behind the heel where the tendons attach to the heel bone (the Achilles tendon) is quite often affected in this way.
Dactylitis causes pain and swelling, usually in just one or two of for 1 last update 2020/05/28 the toes and can be referred to as ''.Dactylitis causes pain and swelling, usually in just one or two of the toes and can be referred to as ''.
Connective tissue disease
Arthritis Curehow to Arthritis Cure for Watch out for ulcers on the toes, or a colour change which doesn''why-does-foot-pain-become-persistent-''s worth seeking a professional opinion.
Most foot problems will be helped by finding footwear that has more room and is more comfortable, and by losing weight if you''non-steroidal-anti-inflammatory-drugs-nsaids''insoles-orthoses''steroid-injections''ll need to rest the foot for up to 48 hours after the injection to get the best result.
Disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs)
DMARDs are prescribed for some people with inflammatory arthritis. They act by altering the underlying disease rather than for 1 last update 2020/05/28 treating the symptoms. They''ll reduce pain, swelling and stiffness over a period of weeks or months by slowing down the disease and its effects on the joints. A common example is methotrexate.DMARDs are prescribed for some people with inflammatory arthritis. They act by altering the underlying disease rather than treating the symptoms. They''ll reduce pain, swelling and stiffness over a period of weeks or months by slowing down the disease and its effects on the joints. A common example is methotrexate.
There are a few foot-specific points to consider in relation to biologic drugs used to treat inflammatory arthritis. First, if you have persisting foot involvement while on other disease modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs) you should discuss with your rheumatologist or nurse the options for starting a biologic. Often the feet are inadvertently overlooked.
If you''ll need to bear in mind. Because biologics suppress the immune system, you need to be aware of the effect of biologics on infection. We don''re on biologics do not use corn plasters or skin scrapers and if you do have an ulcer or infection it is very important to make sure you let your rheumatologist know as soon as possible.
In some people starting a biologic drug can result in a big improvement in joints in the upper body but problems can persist in the leg joints. We think this is because these weight-bearing joints may have already been damaged. If you do have ongoing aches and pains in your feet, ankles and knees after starting biologics, again let your rheumatologist or nurse specialist know. There are often additional treatments that can help.
Surgery is sometimes recommended to improve the structure of your feet. If other treatments haven’t helped, surgery may be suggested to:
- correct valgus heel or hammer toes
- remove a neuroma or rheumatoid nodule
- remove part of the bone from a bunion and reshape your toes
- relieve pain.
Joint replacements for the ankle and foot aren''complementary-and-alternative-therapies-and-medicines''t have any open wounds or sores on your feet.
The effectiveness of treatments such as accupressure sandals and magnetic insoles isn''s important to go to a legally registered therapist, or one who for 1 last update 2020/05/28 has a set ethical code and is fully insured.The effectiveness of treatments such as accupressure sandals and magnetic insoles isn''s important to go to a legally registered therapist, or one who has a set ethical code and is fully insured.
If you decide to try therapies or supplements, you should be critical of what they''re taking steroids or biologic drugs
The routine should include regular nail cutting, filing the skin and applying appropriate foot care cream. Choosing the right footwear is important.
Arthritis Curehow to Arthritis Cure for Good footwear, which is supportive and comfortable, is essential to improve pain and discomfort in the feet.
You may need to take special care of your feet if you have arthritis, either because of the condition itself or because of the medications you take. A good, regular footcare routine will usually keep problems to a minimum:
- Wash your feet daily and dry them thoroughly, especially between your toes.
- Surgical spirit, which you can buy from chemists, helps if the skin between your toes becomes white and soggy-looking. Don''t heal in two to three days, seek professional advice.
- If you suffer from ulcers on your feet, make sure you apply an appropriate dressing to broken skin and take advice from your GP, nurse or rheumatology team. You may need antibiotics if the ulcers become infected. If you''s foot (a fungal skin infection, causing itching and sometimes a rash), thorough washing and drying between your toes will help. A cream or powder from the chemist will speed up the healing process.
- Toenails can be affected by fungal infections. Topical application of anti-fungal paints and/or oral anti-fungal therapy can be obtained on prescription from a GP.
If you have rheumatoid arthritis, you should have your feet checked by a professional just after your diagnosis and then once a year. This can be done by your GP, rheumatologist or nurse, and if you have problems you should be referred to an HCPC-registered podiatrist.
Some people with rheumatoid arthritis have a burning sensation in their feet at night. Using a hot-water bottle filled with cold water can help but you should speak to your doctor about it, especially if this is a new symptom.
Calluses can usually be scraped away using a pumice stone or abrasive board. You should never use an open blade such as a scalpel or razor blade. Special skin files and scrapers may be suitable as long as you and your skin are in good health, although these will not help much with corns where the nucleus goes deeper into the skin. Check with your doctor or an HCPC-registered podiatrist first, especially if:
- you have lupus, vasculitis or scleroderma
- you have a history of skin ulcers
- you suffer with a circulatory disorder such as Raynaud''re on steroid tablets.
Pads and cushions available from the chemist may help with painful pressure points, but over-the-counter creams and medicated corn plasters aren''re on steroids or biologics, or if you have vasculitis or your skin heals slowly you should avoid these treatments altogether.
If you can''ll provide advice on finding special shoes or orthoses. Some centres have access to an orthotist who will be able to assess and provide ready-made or custom-made shoes as required.
Other foot problems
Problems in the ankles and heels
Pain in the ankles and heels can come from joints themselves, or from muscles and tendons around the joints. Osteoarthritis isn''t drift too far, but it can be troublesome if the arch flattens. It''s heel and is the most common cause of discomfort around the heel. Plantar heel syndrome frequently affects people aged 40 to 50 with active occupations. It can be associated with inflammatory arthritis.
Research has shown that plantar heel syndrome is sometimes caused by the shortening of the Achilles tendon. Ask your doctor or physiotherapist about exercises to help you lengthen it. Losing weight and wearing insoles to provide cushioning in your shoes may ease symptoms. A steroid injection can help but they''re not used to. For example it can affect marathon runners. It can also affect people who have psoriatic arthritis, reactive arthritis or ankylosing spondylitis.
This condition can also be called Achilles tendonitis. However, Achilles tendonitis is an older term and strictly it means that there is inflammation, which might not necessarily be the case.
Symptoms of Achilles tendinopathy can get worse when standing and walking. The pain may start slowly and increase in intensity over a period of time. It may be so severe that you have difficulty walking. It usually affects one heel, but may affect both and the affected heel/s can be stiff, particularly after periods of rest. There may be some swelling and heat but this the 1 last update 2020/05/28 may be caused by inflammation of the bursa (sac of fluid) that sits between the tendon and the heel bone.Symptoms of Achilles tendinopathy can get worse when standing and walking. The pain may start slowly and increase in intensity over a period of time. It may be so severe that you have difficulty walking. It usually affects one heel, but may affect both and the affected heel/s can be stiff, particularly after periods of rest. There may be some swelling and heat but this may be caused by inflammation of the bursa (sac of fluid) that sits between the tendon and the heel bone.
Changes in the structure of the arch
Arthritis Curehow to Arthritis Cure for The arches of the feet allow the weight of the body to be spread over many bones and joints. The arch structure can change when it''re overweight can help ease symptoms because it reduces the stress on joints. Swimming is a good form of exercise if you find weight-bearing exercise difficult. Some people find arch supports or foot orthoses helpful for arch pain or tiredness.
Arthritis Curehow to Arthritis Cure for Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen, can help with arch pain, and a steroid injection may ease severe pain. You may find an anti-inflammatory gel applied two to three times per day can help. You can buy this in chemists and supermarkets. Anti-inflammatory tablets should be taken when a number of joints are painful.
Having higher arches (pes cavus) may increase your chances of developing other problems such as hammer toes, bunions, corns or calluses. Lower arches (pes planus) are sometimes linked to leg problems, especially knee cap pain.
Problems in the ball of the foot
Pain can be caused by arthritis in the joints at the ball of the foot, especially if you have arthritis elsewhere. However, most pain in the ball of the foot comes from minor damage to the soft tissues: tendons, bursae, fat pads, nerves and skin.
The most common causes of discomfort under the ball of the foot are calluses (a build-up of hard skin) and corns. Calluses form at areas of high pressure or friction and typically cause a burning pain. If the pressure on the callus is extremely high, small areas of skin within the callused area produce an abnormal type of skin tissue, leading to the formation of a corn.
Calluses will grow back in four to six weeks unless the pressure or friction that caused it is removed by changing to softer or roomier footwear or by inserting cushioning pads.
Arthritis Curehow to Arthritis Cure for Bursae
Bursae are pockets of fluid that cushion joints and tendons. They can become inflamed under the ball of the foot and cause pain, particularly if wearing high heels or tight shoes, or by doing too much weight-bearing exercise.
People with rheumatoid arthritis often develop new and large bursae under the ball of the foot. Bursae can grow and shrink as the level of inflammation varies. They also occur next to large bunions or other irritated joints. Treatment for an inflamed bursa starts with reducing the pressure on the area. If it''ve had it for a long time it may help to have fluid drained and a steroid injection.
A neuroma is a thickening of a nerve, which occurs when it rubs against other internal tissues. It''s a slight risk of ulceration.
Mild cases may be helped by rubber, leather or silicone splints. Pain from corns and calluses may be eased by choosing shoes with a more generous fit or softer uppers, or by using a protective pad over the painful area. The only way to correct hammer toes is with surgery.
Rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, scleroderma and diseases such as diabetes that affect the bones, circulation and nerves can cause ulcers (delayed healing and foot sores).
Ulcers on the toes and feet can be problematic in people with rheumatoid arthritis and scleroderma, where the circulation is compromised due to Raynaud''t heal, speak to your specialist rheumatology team at the hospital, which may include a nurse specialist and an HCPC-registered podiatrist, or a GP.
If you''s important to treat ulcers as soon as possible because your risk of infection is greater. Ulcers which have become infected may require treatment with antibiotics. Medications to improve the blood flow can help.
Exercises to manage foot pain
The foot can be affected by many different conditions. Two causes of foot pain are plantar fasciitis and Achilles tendinitis. Try the exercises suggested here to help ease pain and prevent future injuries. Your pain should ease within 2 weeks and you should recover over approximately a 4-6 week period.
Sitting plantar fascia stretch
Sit down and cross one foot over your knee. Grab the base of your toes and pull them back towards your body until you feel a comfortable stretch. Hold for 15-20 seconds. Repeat 3 times.
Plantar fascia stretch
Sit down and rest the arch of your foot on a round object (e.g. a tin of beans). Roll the arch in all directions for a few minutes. Repeat this exercise at least twice daily.
a) Facing a wall, put both hands on the wall at shoulder height and place one foot in front of the other. The front foot should be approximately 30 cm (12 inches) from the wall. With the front knee bent and the back knee straight, bend the front knee towards the wall until the calk in your back leg feels tight. Relax and repeat 10 times.
b) Repeat a) but bring the back foot forward a little so that the back knee is slightly bent. Repeat the 10 times.
Sit down with a towel on the floor in front of you. Keeping your heel on the ground, pick up the towel by scrunching it between our toes. Repeat 10-20 times. As you improve, add a small weight such as a tin of beans to the towel.
Achilles tendon and plantar fascia stretch
Loop a towel around the ball of your foot and pull your toes towards your body, keeping you knee straight. Hold for 30 seconds. Repeat 3 times on each foot.
- The foot can be affected by many different conditions. Two causes of foot pain are plantar fasciitis and Achilles tendinitis.
- Finding comfortable footwear and using insoles if needed can help with symptoms.
- You can take painkillers to ease pain. Taking them before exercise can help you stay active without causing extra pain.
- Try the exercises suggested here to help ease pain and prevent future injuries.
- Your pain should ease within 2 weeks and you should recover over approximately a 4-6 week period.
Exercise is important to keep your joints moving and helps you keep to a healthy weight. Losing weight if you''s doing its job.
An adequate fastening will improve fit generally and help if the feet swell.
Leather uppers are usually the most comfortable if you have foot problems, although many modern materials offer breathability, flexibility and comfort. Look for a cushioning sole unless you''s enough room to fit them, especially in the toe area.
Around the house, slippers may feel the most comfortable for hammer toes and prominent joints, but make sure the soles provide adequate cushioning. You should also make sure that they are non-slip/trip. Always wear shoes when you''ve become wider over the years or have changed shape because of arthritis. Your feet may change shape when you stand up, so have them measured while standing. Many shops have experienced fitters.
Try shopping later in the afternoon. If your feet tend to swell, they''t buy shoes to break in later; the right shoes for you will be comfortable when you first try them on.
Buy shoes that have both leather uppers and inners (the inner lining), if possible. These are more breathable than inners made of synthetic materials and will help to avoid dampness and fungal infections.
Look for dark colours and a suede finish if you''ll help to disguise the problem.
You may need insoles in your shoes for a number of reasons. An insole, or orthosis, can help to support the arch of your foot. If you have arthritis in the joint across the middle of your foot (the midtarsal joint), a rigid insole may help. If you have one foot bigger than the other, an insole can help to pad out the shoe of your smaller foot.
Insoles will often take up half a shoe size, so take along your largest shoes when you go for an insole fitting. Sometimes you may need to purchase a larger shoe to accommodate an insole, although this is not always the case. Take your insoles along when you buy new shoes.
If you need to wear a prescribed insole, don''t use them for heavy duty activity or exercise.
If you change your shoes indoors, either have a second pair of insoles for your indoor shoes or remember to swap the insoles over. Your feet will return to their old shape while indoors and will never be comfortable if you don''fastenings''t need to be tied.
There are also a number of devices available to help people with putting on socks, tights/stockings and shoes. Useful leaflets on this and other subjects related to the feet and footwear are available from the Disabled Living Foundation or through your local occupational therapist.
Struggling to find the right shoe?
People with permanently swollen feet, very narrow, long, or broad feet, or with hammer toes or bunions may find it difficult to find shoes that fit them well.
A number of retailers are beginning to stock shoes the 1 last update 2020/05/28 with extra width and depth, which can help. It may be possible to have high-street footwear adapted by an orthotist - ask them for advice.A number of retailers are beginning to stock shoes with extra width and depth, which can help. It may be possible to have high-street footwear adapted by an orthotist - ask them for advice.
Some people may have footwear prescribed by their consultant, GP or by a Health and Care Professions (HCPC)-registered podiatrist, but they''wearing-slippers-around-the-house''t a good idea for those who have to wear special insoles. They also sometimes contribute to falls in the elderly. The uppers of slippers are often soft, so they''t be too loose. Backless slippers and slippers with high heels really should be avoided. The features of the ideal slipper are generally the same as for the ideal shoe.
Arthritis Curehow to Arthritis Cure for Wearing safety footwear
If you need to wear safety boots for work, they should display the British Kitemark or CE mark.
If your existing safety footwear is uncomfortable, you may need to talk to your employer about getting alternatives. Safety versions of extra-depth and cushioned shoes are available. If you suffer from toe or foot ulceration, make sure that safety footwear is not causing pressure or pain to the wounds.
Arthritis Curehow to Arthritis Cure for Dealing with cold feet
Many slippers, shoes and boots are available with linings such as sheepskin or synthetic fur to help keep the feet warm. Wearing thicker socks or two pairs (as long as they''s UK produce a leaflet containing tips for keeping warm.