Your feet bear a lot of weight. Even if you’re fit, every pound puts pressure on your poor soles. That’s why they feel so tired at the end of a particularly taxing day. But, there’s a difference between the occasional aches and serious pain that doesn't go away. If your feet are chronically stiff and painful, arthritis may be the culprit.
Our expert team at City Podiatry will carefully diagnose the source of your foot pain and offer several effective treatment options. When it comes to arthritis, there’s no cure, but there is hope for living with reduced pain and more mobility.
What’s happening inside your arthritic feet
Once you understand arthritis, you’ll understand why it’s causing you so much discomfort. Basically, arthritis is damage or deterioration of your joints. Whether you have rheumatoid arthritis (the kind where your body’s immune system attacks healthy tissue in your own body) or osteoarthritis (the kind that happens with normal wear and tear), the result is the same. With both types, you lose the protective cartilage in your joints.
Considering the fact that you have 28 bones and 30 joints in each of your feet, there are plenty of opportunities for arthritis to settle in and wreak havoc.
Living with arthritis in your feet
While there’s no known cure for arthritis, there are ways to reduce the pain. Depending on the type of arthritis you have and how advanced it is, we can make you more comfortable and help you improve the quality of your life as you live with the disease.
If you have rheumatoid arthritis, we can prescribe disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs) that block inflammation and slow down the deterioration of your joints.
There are several DMARDs available, and our evaluation of your condition will help us determine which one is best for you.
If you have osteoarthritis, we’ll start you on a regimen of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) to help relieve your pain. You may know these better by their brand names: Advil®, Motrin®, and Aleve®.
Whenever your body is under attack by something foreign, such as a virus or cancer, your body produces antibodies, or white blood cells, to attack them. Scientists have discovered that they can produce a substitute called a monoclonal antibody in a laboratory that will attack the culprits that cause your rheumatoid arthritis. If you’re a good candidate, we can prescribe these antibodies.
Corticosteroids are powerful anti-inflammatories that can greatly reduce your arthritis pain. However, it’s not safe to take them over a long period of time, so we recommend them only as part of a more comprehensive treatment plan.
Being overweight makes your arthritis worse, especially in your feet. Every pound above your ideal weight puts an extra eight pounds of pressure on the joints in your feet. That’s why it’s important to adhere to a healthy diet and exercise routine or begin a medically supervised weight-loss program if necessary. As you shed pounds, you’ll notice a marked difference in your painful feet.
While you’re working on reducing your pain, you might as well be comfortable. We can recommend the right styles of shoes to wear that will give your feet enough wiggle room to keep them from getting pinched or cramped. We may also prescribe special orthotic inserts that will give you extra support and padding.
If you have arthritis in your feet or think you might, there’s no need to suffer. Contact us today for an appointment!