8 Ways to Ease Arthritis Foot Pain

Feet are a common site for the painful symptoms of arthritis to first appear. The feet are especially vulnerable to the negative effects of arthritis.

Among all people over the age of 50, one in six will develop osteoarthritis (OA) of the foot. Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is the most prevalent type of inflammatory autoimmune arthritis, and more than 90% of those who suffer from it report experiencing symptoms in their feet and ankles at some time over the course of their illness. In around 20% of people with rheumatoid arthritis, issues with the feet and ankles are among the initial indicators of the condition.

Arthritis mostly affects joints, and each of your feet contains more than 30 joints, so it's not unexpected if you're feeling it there.

Different Kinds of Arthritis and How It Hurts Your Feet

Several distinct manifestations of arthritis can occur in the feet.

  • Although osteoarthritis is most usually detected in the midfoot and ankle, it can also affect the first metatarsophalangeal joint (MTP), which is the joint that links your big toe to your foot. This joint is the most prevalent site of osteoarthritis.

  • Rheumatoid arthritis typically affects the same joints and manifests in both feet simultaneously. In contrast, osteoarthritis (OA) concentrates its symptoms in a single joint.

  • Gout typically only manifests itself in the foot, most frequently the big toe. 

  • Psoriatic arthritis (PsA) causes sausage-like dactylitis, which may damage toes. Psoriatic arthritis often causes enthesis inflammation, where tendons and ligaments connect bones (PsA). Plantar fasciitis, an inflammation of the tissue connecting the heel bone to the toes, is the most frequent foot symptom. Bony protrusion called bone spurs may also cause discomfort if they rub against neighbouring bones or soft tissues.

  • Enthesitis is another symptom that can be caused by ankylosing spondylitis. This includes plantar fasciitis and discomfort in the Achilles tendon.

  • How To Ease the Pain

Now that we've determined the cause of the pain in your feet try some of these techniques to alleviate the discomfort of arthritis, which includes pain, stiffness, and swelling in the affected area.

Use pain meds Pain, swelling, and redness can all be alleviated with the help of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medicines (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen, aspirin, and naproxen, which are available both over-the-counter and by prescription. The inflammatory and pain-inducing molecules known as prostaglandins are partially inhibited by NSAIDs. Inquire with your physician before using these medications for any length, as they may increase your risk of cardiovascular and gastrointestinal problems. Your doctor may instead recommend a topical anti-inflammatory such as Voltaren Gel, which is poorly absorbed systemically and less likely to induce undesirable effects.

Invest in Proper Footwear

Your footwear can either aid or hinder your arthritis symptoms. One of the most critical aspects of comfortable footwear is that it fits the foot correctly. Shoes with adequate room for hammertoes and bunions are also crucial for those with arthritis because these conditions frequently occur together with joint stiffness, edema, and contracture. Shoe manufacturers like Nike, Ecco, Clarks, and Adidas combine fashion and comfort. They have features like arch support, heel cups, extra padding in the soles, and shock absorption to make them comfortable and safe to wear.

Rocker soles, which are thicker than standard soles and a bent heel, may be helpful for people with severe foot osteoarthritis. This type of sole (typical of sporting shoes) has been shown to alleviate stress on the big toe joint by 12% in patients with OA. The pain scores of participants in a recent study who wore shoes with rocker soles increased by 22 percent.

Manage Your Weight

The discomfort of arthritis may be exacerbated by being overweight. Knees, hips, and feet experience the most stress from excess weight. Those with excessive body fat have an increased risk of developing severe arthritis. Both obesity and inflammation heighten the suffering associated with inflammatory forms of arthritis, such as rheumatoid and psoriatic. Losing as little as 5-10% of your body weight has been shown to considerably enhance mobility and decrease pain, according to studies.

Proper Exercise

Staying on top of a fitness routine is challenging for even the healthiest, let alone those suffering from joint discomfort. Nonetheless, exercise helps those with arthritis: Consistent moderate exercise has improved joint function, eased pain and tiredness, and loosened stiffness. Of course, it can also be beneficial for shedding pounds by increasing calorie expenditure.

Strive for maximum activity; any motion counts, so do things like standing while you talk on the phone, puttering around the garden, and walking the dog. If you want to avoid the impact of running outside, the treadmill is a better option. You could also go for a swim, row an imaginary boat, ride a bike, or use an elliptical trainer for some low-impact exercise.

Try Acupuncture

Needling specific acupoints on the body is the basis of an ancient Chinese medicine called acupuncture. According to its proponents, it can help by realigning your energy.

The ACR/AF provides a qualified endorsement of acupuncture for treating arthritic pain. There is little evidence to substantiate its advantages, although the risk of harm is deemed low.

Choose an acupuncturist who has passed the appropriate exams and is licensed to practice.

Add Turmeric to Dishes

The ingredient of turmeric, a yellow spice commonly used in Indian cooking, is called curcumin. It can help prevent free radical damage and reduce inflammation. According to the findings of several studies, it may help lessen the discomfort of arthritis by decreasing inflammation.

Follow a Healthy Diet

The immune system and general health can benefit from a diet of fresh fruits, vegetables, and whole foods. Some data suggest that dietary habits affect how RA and OA manifest in different people.

Antioxidants found in plants help eliminate harmful free radicals in the body, aiding inflammation.

Consider Herbal Supplements

Although many herbal supplements have been shown to alleviate joint pain, no one plant or supplement has yet been proven to effectively cure arthritis. Some are bromelain devil's claw, boswellia, stinging nettle, ginkgo, and thunder god vine.

Updated on: 03-Apr-2023


Kickstart Your Career

Get certified by completing the course

Get Started