Caring for Arthritic Feet - Suffolk Foot and Ankle

Caring for Arthritic Feet

Caring for Arthritic Feet

There are 26 bones and more than 30 joints in the foot. The muscles, tendons and ligaments all work together with the many joints of the foot to control motion. This smooth motion makes it possible for a person to walk with ease. Any pain felt in feet and ankles as the years go by could be arthritis.

Arthritis is a disabling disease that affects over 50 million Americans. It is a painful inflammation of one of more joints, causing pain and stiffness. This condition may occur in your back, neck, hips, knees, shoulders or hands, but it also can occur in your feet and ankles. If not treated, arthritic pain can grow and can become so agonizing that patients can no longer walk even short distances. With the proper treatment and care, the development of arthritis can be slowed and will lead to a more productive life.

Pain is usually the first noticeable symptom of arthritis. It can be described as a deep, achy feeling or a sharp, stabbing sensation with movement. The pain can be minor, moderate or severe depending on how deteriorated or inflamed the joint is. Pain is known as one of the most common and debilitating symptoms of arthritis. It can stop you from enjoying your normal daily life! Proper care addresses both the pain and joint deformity. Over a length of time, arthritis will wear away at the cartilage between joints, inflame the tissues, and damage synovial fluid. This can make joints stiff and difficult to move. If not treated, the foot and ankle may eventually become deformed.

When dealing with arthritis, having additional foot complications, such as bunions, hammertoes, or neuromas, will make it worse. Buying well-fitting shoes with a low heel and the best support is a must. Having shoes with good arch support is also recommended. If you have arthritic feet, keep these suggestions in mind next time you are shopping for footwear:

  • Look for shoes that are shaped like your feet
  • Make sure your toes have enough room to move around
  • Avoid pointed-toe shoes as often as possible
  • Choose footwear that provides arch support and a good heal counter
  • Avoid any slip-on shoes like flip-flops, mules or loafers
  • Avoid high heels!
  • Look for extra cushioning in the mid and outer soles

Research has shown that regular physical activity has benefits people with all kinds of arthritis. This movement can help to reduce joint pain and stiffness, increase flexibility and endurance and strengthen muscles around the joints. Regular exercise also helps to promote overall health and fitness by increasing metabolism and increasing sleep and weight control.

Certain non-steroid, non-inflammatory drugs or topical medicines may be recommended by your Suffolk Foot & Ankle to help ease arthritic pain. Arthritic feet can result in the loss of mobility and your independence, but early diagnosis and proper medical care can help. Contact Suffolk Foot & Ankle today to schedule an appointment at one of our 4 convenient locations to determine what method of care is best for you.