How to Relieve Rheumatoid Arthritis Foot Pain

When the tissue lining your joints gets attacked by your immune system, rheumatoid arthritis (RA) develops, resulting in painful inflammation and stiffness.

Additionally, RA can have an impact on the skin and internal organs like the heart in addition to other body components. The symptoms of RA in your feet can take many different forms.

Symptoms of RA in the Foot

There is a wide range of foot RA symptoms, including −

  • Toe joint discomfort or stiffness, as well as joint and ligament pain throughout the entire foot

  • Chronic pain or discomfort in the feet, especially after prolonged walking, running, or standing.

  • Excessive warmth in one or more foot areas though the rest of your body is generally cold.

  • Ankles, toe joints becoming swelled.

These symptoms may make using your foot more uncomfortable and challenging over time.

Joint damage is one of these ongoing signs. When the bone, cartilage, and other joint tissues degenerate, this occurs. Your foot joints may become weaker and much more uncomfortable to use as a result.

However, RA frequently experiences periods when symptoms worsen, known as flare-ups, as well as times when they may be less evident or nonexistent, known as remission.

Your experience may vary depending on the therapies you receive, how frequently you're on your feet, and your general health. As you age, flare-ups may become more severe and remission periods shorter.

RA Treatments for the Feet

RA is not completely curable. However, numerous treatments can be used to ease flare-up symptoms, lessen the frequency of flare-ups, and stop joint degeneration.

The following are a few of the most popular remedies for RA in your foot.

Lifestyle Tips

  • For relieving pain and swelling use the RICE procedure- rest, ice, compression, and elevation.

  • Using a warm compress for inflammation and soaking the feet in warm water.

  • Orthotic inserts and customized insoles in the shoes can enable one to decrease foot pressure when taking a step.

  • Steroid injections in the joints for decreasing inflammation.

  • Wearing special boots and braces for decreasing joint pressure at the foot’s back.

  • Your rheumatologist may recommend a mix of drugs, depending on the severity of your symptoms and how long you have had rheumatoid arthritis. To achieve disease remission, which can avoid symptoms like pain and fatigue as well as long-term joint and organ damage, RA treatment aims to reduce systemic inflammation. Consuming DMARDs can reduce pain and inflammation. Even NSAIDs are prescribed to help with pain from inflammation.

  • Surgery for removing the extra debris or inflamed tissues in the joint, removing the damaged cartilage, and joining two bones together or completely replacing a joint.

Some Other Tips to Relieve Foot Pain due to RA Include

  • Put on open-toed footwear − Your toes and feet will not be overly crowded or uncomfortable with the help of this footwear.

  • Stay warm − To lessen stiffness, keep your joints warm by wearing thick, cozy socks or shoes.

  • Swim in the hot tub or take a hot bath − Along with giving your feet a place to rest when you lie in the tub, warm water can assist your joints in becoming less stiff.

  • Avoid exercising − When you get a flare-up, avoid exercising. Your joints may experience additional stress and strain. It will make symptoms more difficult to handle.

  • Consider a diet low in inflammation − A diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and omega-3 fatty acids from fish may help lessen inflammation. Inflammation contributes to the symptoms of RA.

  • Sleep regularly − A minimum of 6 to 8 hours of sleep per night is necessary for your body to relax and heal itself. It will help in reducing the symptoms of RA.

  • Be less stressed − Flare-ups of inflammation can be brought on by stress. Try anything that makes you feel less worried, such as napping, listening to music, or meditation.

  • Give up smoking − If you smoke, come up with a quitting strategy with your doctor. Smoking can exacerbate RA symptoms and contribute to the onset of RA.

When to Consult a Doctor?

If you have any of the following RA symptoms in your feet or elsewhere on your body, consult a doctor as soon as possible −

  • Foot pain that worsens with time, skin ulcers on the feet or ankles, swelling of the feet or ankles

  • Severe foot discomfort that makes it challenging to walk or engage in any foot-related activity

  • Decreasing flexibility in your legs or feet

  • Your feet have a constant, unpleasant tingling or numbness

  • Abnormal weight loss due to fever

  • Abnormal and ongoing tiredness


RA can result in excruciating foot pain in all of its forms.

Numerous medical procedures and drugs can ease these symptoms. If you are experiencing foot pain, consult your doctor. Early RA treatment can lessen flare-ups and their effects on daily living.

Updated on: 20-Apr-2023


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