How to Care For Feet With Arthritis
Arthritis is a painful condition caused by inflammation of your joints. It can occur anywhere in your body where bones are connected – and that includes the joints in your feet.
Besides medication and surgery, there are numerous ways you can help relieve foot pain caused by arthritis so you can maintain your daily activities.
Here’s what orthopedist and physical therapists recommend for self-foot care for arthritis:
Applying Heat and Cold Compress
When your feet are swollen and painful from an arthritic flare-up, cold packs can reduce the swelling and inflammation, as well as numb the pain. If your feet are aching without inflammation and swelling, heat in the form of a towel dipped in hot water or a topical medication may provide needed relief.
Treat Yourself to a Good Foot Rub
Therapeutic massage can improve circulation in your feet and reduce tension, thereby providing pain relief. If you can’t afford the services of a masseuse and don’t have anyone to perform the massage, you can do it yourself using moisture and pressure. Simply seat yourself on a comfortable chair, raise and bend your leg and place your foot on your thigh. Apply lotion or oil onto your hand and rub it gently on your foot. Then knead the entire foot as if sculpting clay or kneading bread, using your knuckles or thumbs to massage your skin and underlying tissue. If your hands are too sore or sensitive for the task, use a roller or other massaging device.
Wear Proper Footwear
Avoid wearing shoes that cramp your toes or high heels that tend to thrust your foot forward as these can aggravate any pain you already have. Instead, choose footwear that has a wide toe space, ample arch support and low heels, all of which can help ease your arthritic pain.
Invest in an Orthopedic Device
These include foot pads and heel inserts readily available at your local pharmacy or at discount stores. Your orthopedist or physical therapist can also help provide you with custom-designed and fitted braces or shoe inserts. These devices are especially helpful in treating a number of foot problems including heel pain, bunions, hammer or claw toe, and plantar fasciitis (inflammation of the tissue that connects the heel bone to the toes).
Use a Cane or Crutches
This can help when placing weight on your foot causes pain. Since there are many different types of canes, your doctor or physical therapist can help recommend one that is best for you. For example, if you have difficulty balancing with a single tip cane, your doctor may recommend a quad (or four-point) cane instead. Note: You should hold your cane in the hand opposite your arthritic foot. If you are recovering from a fracture or a severely painful foot problem, you may need to use crutches for a while to take added pressure off your foot.
Soaking your feet in Epsom salts after a long day will relieve pain and soothe aches.
Raising Your Feet
After a long day on your feet, catch up on your email or watch TV with your feet propped up on a pillow or ottoman. This will reduce swelling and pressure, and will help you relax.
Orthopaedic Doctor in Catonsville, Columbia, and Eldersburg
For more than 40 years, Orthopaedic Associates of Central Maryland has provided the highest standard of orthopedic care for patients of all ages. We have offices in Catonsville, Columbia, and Eldersburg and we employ sophisticated advances and specialties in the field of orthopedic medicine, such as arthroscopic surgery, minimally invasive procedures, joint replacement, sports medicine, onsite diagnostic imagery, outpatient surgery, and physical therapy rehabilitation for the full spectrum of joint, bone, muscle, back, and related pain conditions and injuries. Request an appointment online or call us at (410) 644-1880 or toll-free at (844) 215-5993 for your consult today.