Suffering from a Case of the Aches? 5 Tips to Ease Everyday Arthritis Foot Pain
Posted by Jenn F. on Monday, February 17th, 2014
The CDC says that arthritis is the most common cause of disability in the United States, affecting some 21 million Americans. Signs of arthritis include tenderness, stiffness, swelling, and trouble with mobility. Arthritis foot pain in particular is devastating because we rely so much on our feet for much of what we do.
Most people notice their feet start aching more in their forties. By the time we reach 50 years of age, 1 in 6 people have some degree of foot arthritis due to aging and the wearing of cartilage. This is called osteoarthritis. In other cases, as with rheumatoid arthritis, the body may begin attacking itself and destroying cartilage in painful “flare-ups.” You can also develop arthritis following an injury or from overuse while playing your favorite sport.
The good news is: there are many ways to ease foot arthritis and diminish chronic foot pain, allowing you to go about your daily life. In addition to the following five recommendations, you can also meet with a NY podiatrist to discuss further options for pain relief.
1. Stretch your tendons.
Stretching is good for joint mobility in general. Good stretching involves working on the achilles tendon at the back of your heel, as well as the tendons in your feet and toes. While watching TV, you can try rolling a tennis ball across the arch of your foot or leaning against a wall to relieve aching calf muscles.
2. Try medication.
Topical medications containing capsaicin (the “hot spice” in chili peppers) are believed to work by blocking pain transmitters in the body. You can buy creams, ointments, gels, or lotions from brand names like Icy Hot or Zostrix.
The UK Times recommends that another medication arthritis sufferers can sometimes use is Paracetamol,which can help prevent a flare-up if you’re anticipating a busy day. Like any painkiller,though, there can be side effects. A third of patients experience stomach irritation, and NSAIDs are not recommended for people with heart problems.
3. See a NY podiatrist about orthotics or other devices.
Canes help with stability. Braces can add comfort by holding the foot in proper alignment. Most arthritis sufferers say insoles (a.k.a. custom orthotics) provide the best relief because they correct misalignment and uneven weight distribution. The downside of custom shoe inserts is that they may not fit well within all of your favorite shoes, but websites like Zappos and The Healthy Feet Store specialize in helping people find functional and attractive footwear.
4. Consider TENS treatment for arthritis foot pain.
Here at The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports Medicine, we offer Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS) therapy. This painless procedure places electrodes around your arthritis joint to deliver low-grade electromagnetic pulses into the body to block pain signals leaving the area and encourage the production of natural endorphins — much like acupuncture without the needles.
5. Consider joint replacement therapy.
In some cases, severe pain really affects a person’s quality of life. For the rare patient who does not respond to conservative methods, joint replacement surgery is an option. There is no guarantee surgery will cure pain forever, but it can be a game-changer for some patients. Check out this post for an in-depth look at the pros and cons of arthritis surgery and do not hesitate to call us if you have any questions regarding treatment for chronic arthritis foot pain.
Whichever route you consider for your arthritis foot pain, keep in mind that here at The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports Medicine we have helped hundreds of people on their journey to better mobility. We work closely with patients to determine the best course of action for their particular needs. Please contact us to schedule a consultation at one of our New York locations.
If you have any foot problems or pain, contact The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports Medicine. Dr. Josef J. Geldwert, Dr. Katherine Lai, Dr. Ryan Minara and Dr. Mariola Rivera have helped thousands of people get back on their feet. Unfortunately, we cannot give diagnoses or treatment advice online. Please make an appointment to see us if you live in the NY metropolitan area or seek out a podiatrist in your area.