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10 Ways to Manage Arthritic Foot Pain

arthritic foot painArthritic foot pain is one of the most common conditions we see in our clinic.  Due to the aging population, this is a growing concern to all podiatrists.

There are 2 main types of arthritis that we see:

  1. Osteoarthritis – this is a degenerative form of arthritis, and it often affects more than one joint.  (Although there is new research coming out of the United Kingdom that is showing us that there is an inflammatory element to this form of arthritis – and the research is being led by an Australian Podiatrist!!) It is more common among the elderly, obese or those who have suffered a physical trauma. This type of arthritis can cause changes in the foot bones such as cartilage destruction, spurs, and narrowing of  joint spaces.
  2. Rheumatoid arthritis – this is a systemic disease that causes non-specific inflammation of joints in both hands and feet.  Over time, this form of arthritis can result in the destruction of joints and cause serious chronic foot problems including hammer toes, bunions, etc.

So arthritic foot pain should not be ignored, and should be treated as soon as possible.  Using the skills of both your Doctor and your Podiatrist, this can be achieved.  But there are 10 ways your can manage that pain right now:

1. Exercises – Stretching, range of motion, and functional exercises are all ideal for preventing arthritic foot pain.  These exercises help to improve blood flow to the feet, improve flexibility, and keep bones and muscles strong.  Like the old saying ” Use it, or lose it” certainly applies here.  Ask us the types of exercises that will help you.

2. Lose Weight – Weight puts plenty of stress and strain on your joints.  If you are overweight, shedding excess kilos can make a significant difference to your feet.

3. Supportive Footwear – It is imperative that you invest in shoes that provide yhour foot with support, and feature a high, wide toebox.  Shoes with rocker-bottom soles are a good choice for those suffering from ankle pain.  You should avoid wearing high heel shoes and shoes with pointed toes.  Again, talk to us about the right shoe for you.

4. Knee, Ankle and Foot Supports – Elastic bandages and braces that provide mild compression and support can help reduce stress placed on joints.

5. Heat/Cold Therapy – Applying heating pads or ice packs to the inflammed joint can help relieve inflammation and sooth aching joints.

6. Physical Therapy – there are some excellent Physiotherapists in the Sutherland Shire, talk to us or your Doctor about a referral to one.

7. Glucosamine with Chondroitin Supplements – These supplements help to slow the deterioration of cartilage between joint bone and reduce pain. Talk to your Doctor before taking these supplements.

8. Over The Counter Pain Medication – If you are suffering from pain due to joint inflammation, common over the counter medication may be effective such as aspirin and ibuprofen – again discuss with your Doctor.

9. Anti-Inflammatory Creams and Ointments – There are topical medications that help relieve acute pain – like Voltaren.  Again talk to your Doctor or Pharmacist about these types of creams.

10. Surgery – Those who suffer from severe, disabling foot pain may require surgery to realign or replace joints.  The surgical techniques on feet has improved dramatically over the past 10 years with greater success rates, and minimal pain.  Discuss with us, so we can give you the best options available.

Remember, it is not normal for joints to hurt anywhere in your body.  If you are experiencing frequent or recurring foot pain, it is time you paid us a call!

We have HICAPS available in our clinic, which means that our patients can claim from their private health fund straight away

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Shop 2/17-19 East Parade
Sutherland, NSW 2232

Tel: 02 9542 3491