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Many people that suffer from rheumatoid arthritis end up suffering from all kinds of issues that directly cause or relate to foot pain. Below, we will be going over some of the issues that these people face, effective ways to manage the pain, and tips to relieve and/or avoid the pain altogether.
Quick Links To Info On This Page
- 1 Symptoms Of Rheumatoid Arthritis Of The Foot
- 2 Treating RA With Massage
- 3 Treating Rheumatoid Arthritis With Infrared Light Therapy
- 4 Common Arthritis Foot Conditions
- 5 How To Treat Rheumatoid Arthritis Foot Pain
Common Issues Associated With The Chronic Disease
Because this type of condition can cause significant pain in joints, it is very common to experience pain and discomfort in your feet area. In fact, according to the American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society, over 90 percent of people that suffer from this condition have some kind of foot pain.
This can cause difficulties in even the most basic uses of the foot such as normal walking activities, running, and more. Unfortunately, this type of condition essentially attacks your joints which can be significant for your feet considering the amount of usage your joint gets. This can cause issues resulting in having swollen feet and worse. A majority of the people that suffer from this kind of pain end up needing to get larger shoe sizes and some might even need special footwear to provide more support and cushioning.
It’s also been studied that Rheumatoid Arthritis can first be detected in you feet, more specifically your ankle joints. It is hoped that finding the disease early on from what we know think are unrelated foot problems could lead to great chances of slowing down the disease. This could be done by learning how to maintain the condition before it gets out of hand. Which could end up leading to a reduced number of trips to the emergency room in the long run.
Symptoms Of Rheumatoid Arthritis Of The Foot
The foot has various regions, but typically RA will start with the ankle. Different areas of the foot may need different treatments. AS the ankle is comprised of several joints and is the stability to our bodies standing upright, surgery may be the only treatment. Seek medical advice as soon as possible when the joints in your ankle start hurting. Here are some of the common symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis in the feet.
- Ankle: Walking up and down stairs may feel more difficult than normal. Simple standing and walking can cause pain.
- Back of the foot: Particularly painful underneath the fibula and walking on un-even surfaces.
- Mid Foot Region: Noticeable difficulty when wearing shoes and painful weakened foot arch.
- Forefoot: Many symptoms such as hammertoe and claw toes which will be discussed below.
Treating RA With Massage
Massage is certainly no new treatment by any means, but some people with Rheumatoid Arthritis are not aware of the therapeutically benefits massaging your feet can achieve. For many, a massage is simple a means to relieve pain. Which is great as there are many foot associated pains with Arthritis. But the art of getting a foot massage goes much deeper than just feeling nice on your muscles. Recent studies have shown that massage can actually help ease the associated symptoms.
Massage also improves blood circulation and reduces inflammation throughout the foot. So by stimulating the muscles it can force pooled up blood to re-circulate with fresh new blood. With the increase in blood flow comes oxygen and nutrients. Both of which are required for your body to naturally heal. However, massage is not always the right treatment if you have badly inflamed ankles or feet.
Reflexology For Arthritis
Reflexology is basically applying pressure to certain areas of the foot which can activate other areas of the bodies self healing function. The foot is divided into vital energy sectors which when pressure is applied can treat other areas of the body.
For Rheumatoid Arthritis, the areas on the bottom of your foot to apply pressure to are the thyroid gland which are just between the big toe and just after the bend crease of your toe and also Kidney, uterus, ureter and adrenal glands. Which is around the center of the sole of your foot.
Any good reflexology foot massage machine will be able to apply pressure to these pressure points. With these devices you can manage your pain from home any time you like. While also assisting in the bodies natural healing process through reflexology.
Treating Rheumatoid Arthritis With Infrared Light Therapy
Another at home drug free way to treat arthritis is with infrared light therapy. This is a technique used that increases blood circulation in and around the joints.
With the extra blood flow comes an increase in oxygen and nutrients. Which are the bodies natural healing attributes. So infrared light therapy devices are a natural way to encourage the body to heal itself without the need for drugs.
Common Arthritis Foot Conditions
This is one of the more common issues that can be directly related to RA. This type of deformity occurs when the toes end up permanently bent underneath.
This is another common foot deformity that can occur when the joint gets so enlarged and swollen at the base of the big toe.
This is another common condition that can develop underneath the big ball of the foot and it typically gets extremely swollen as a direct result. This is a condition that is very closely related to bunions due to the inflammation present.
4. Hallux Valgus.
This is another common deformity that can result from having the big toe angling towards your other toes which can cause pain in walking.
5. Nerve Pain.
Those that suffer from RA are also likely to experience nerve pain throughout their feet. This can cause a variety of things including pain, burning, tenderness, and more.
A majority of people that suffer from RA are going to experience pain in their foot region. Whether or not one of the above conditions presents itself is up in the air. But typically those that suffer from RA are going to notice pain in their feet or ankles because of the importance and the exponential movement that is forced in these areas when doing simple walking or daily activities.
How To Treat Rheumatoid Arthritis Foot Pain
If you are suffering from excruciating pain due to RA and you suffer from one of the foot deformities that is exacerbating the problem, the most likely solution is going to be surgery. Surgery is typically needed in order to effectively alleviate the pain that is associated with various issues to the feet including hammertoes, bunions, and more. Typically the toes and/or joints will be reset or fused during the treatment in order to get rid of the problem.
Tips To Reduce Foot pain
1. Avoid Running.
While exercise is very important for everyone, you want to choose exercises that are not going to place significant pressure on your joints. If you are suffering from severe deformities or inflammation in your feet and/or ankle areas, you want to choose exercises that do not promote too much stress on these areas. Some of the most effective exercises for those that might be looking to reduce the amount of pressure that is forced on their feet would be stationary biking, swimming, and more.
2. Foot Specialist.
Another thing that you are going to want to do is be sure to get a foot specialist to check on your feet and provide guidance for exercises that you should be doing and avoiding. Also, you want them to give you specialized guidance on the type of shoes you should be wearing and whether or not you need additional support.
3. Reduce Your Weight.
Another good thing that you are going to be able to do when you are trying to minimize the pressure and stress that is placed on your feet throughout the day doing simple daily activities is to lose weight. By reducing your weight, you will be reducing the amount of stress that is placed on your feet throughout each day and it can really do wonders for your pain management. The more you weigh, the greater your risk of suffering various issues with your feet including inflammation and joint pain whether you suffer from arthritis or not.
Overall, there are so many things that you are going to want to do when it comes to dealing with the pain that is caused by this type of arthritis. By following the tips above, you should be able to successfully manage it and figure out solutions that can minimize the total amount of pain you experience.