Feet are complex structures made up of many bones, joints, ligaments and muscles. Arthritis can affect any of these components, resulting in pain, swelling and deformities. Without proper care, the condition can progress, causing increasing discomfort and limiting a person's ability to lead an active lifestyle. Maintaining arthritic foot health involves several aspects:

  1. Maintaining mobility: regular foot care, proper treatment and prevention can prevent joint deterioration and maintain joint functionality for years to come.
  2. Reducing pain: the use of specialized techniques and aids (orthopedic shoes and special insoles) can significantly reduce pain and improve overall health.
  3. Preventing complications: regular check-ups with a specialist and following care recommendations can help avoid these problems.

Arthritic foot care allows a person to stay active, independent and enjoy everyday activities without pain.

When Is Arthritic Foot Care Recommended?

Arthritic foot care is essential not only for those who have already been diagnosed with the condition, but also for those who are experiencing initial symptoms or are at risk. Specialized care helps not only to alleviate existing symptoms, but also to prevent the development of complications. 

What symptoms to look out for

  1. Variable intensity of foot pain (dull, aching, sharp), especially after physical activity or in the morning hours.
  2. Persistent or recurrent swelling accompanied by redness and increased skin temperature in the foot area.
  3. Decreased range of motion in the joints, difficulty walking, lifting the toes or rotating the foot.
  4. Visible changes in the shape of the joints - changes in the shape of the toes or the appearance of bone growths.

If you have already been diagnosed with arthritis and notice a worsening of the condition or new symptoms, it is important to see a specialist in a timely manner.

Conditions associated with arthritic of the foot that require specialized care include:

  • psoriatic arthritic;
  • rheumatoid arthritic;
  • osteoarthritic;
  • Gout.

Foot injuries, surgery, overweight, family predisposition and sedentary lifestyle can increase the risk of developing the condition. In these cases, specialized foot care is especially important. Early diagnosis and initiation of treatment can significantly slow the progression of the disease and reduce its symptoms.

Preparation for Foot Care

Effective foot care for arthritis requires proper preparation, it includes the following steps.

  1. Consultation with a podiatrist: assessment of the condition of the feet and the severity of the disease, collection of anamneses, discussion of symptoms (their duration and intensity).
  2. Diagnostic procedures:
  • X-ray: allows visualization of the condition of the bones and joints, identifying changes (narrowing of joint gaps, presence of osteophytes and deformities).
  • MRI: provides a detailed image of soft tissues, helps to identify early changes that are not visible on X-rays.
  • Ultrasound: used to evaluate soft tissue conditions and detect inflammation in the joints. This method is particularly useful for diagnosing rheumatoid and psoriatic arthritis.
  • Blood tests: to detect markers of inflammation and autoimmune diseases.

In some cases, a sample of joint fluid may be taken for analysis. This helps determine the presence of infection, uric acid crystals, or other signs of inflammation.

To make your visit to the doctor as productive as possible, it is recommended that you:

  • Write down all the symptoms you are experiencing, their intensity, localization and duration.
  • Make a list of any medications, vitamins, and supplements you are taking.
  • Write down any questions you have for your doctor.
  • Bring the results of examinations, if any.

The more information you can provide to your doctor, the better he or she will be able to diagnose and treat your foot arthritic.

The Arthritic Foot Care Procedure

Foot care for arthritis involves a comprehensive approach that combines the use of various methods.

Orthotic and corrective inserts, supportive braces and orthotics:

  • they help to relieve pressure on inflamed joints and reduce pain;
  • improve the biomechanics of the foot and prevent further joint damage;
  • fix and stabilize the joints of the foot by limiting excessive movement, preventing pain and inflammation.

Physical therapy includes:

  • regular exercises to help strengthen the muscles in the feet and lower legs, improve flexibility and maintain normal range of motion in the joints;
  • massage – improves circulation, reduces muscle tension and helps reduce swelling;
  • heat and cold treatments – help relax muscles and reduce pain, reduce inflammation reactions and swelling;
  • electrical stimulation and ultrasound therapy – to reduce pain and improve tissue healing.

Specialized footwear

Wearing the right shoes can greatly improve comfort and function in arthritis of the foot. The following should be considered when choosing shoes:

  • shoes should have good support for the arch of the foot and heel;
  • should be wide enough to make your feet comfortable, even if they are swollen;
  • have a soft sole that absorbs shock when walking and an adjustable buckle so that the shoes are easy to put on and take off.

Medication

Depending on the symptoms you are experiencing, your doctor may prescribe:

  • anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs); 
  • painkillers;
  • creams and gels with anti-inflammatory and analgesic components;
  • biologic drugs and DMARDs - to slow disease progression and improve joint health;
  • corticosteroid injections to provide rapid and powerful anti-inflammatory action.

Effective arthritic foot care significantly improves quality of life and reduces arthritic symptoms.

Recovery and Aftercare

Once treatment for foot arthritic has begun, it is important to continue to keep your feet healthy and functional. This requires ongoing care and following certain guidelines. 

  • Exercise regularly: it will help maintain range of motion, strength and flexibility, and reduce pain and inflammation.
  • Maintain a healthy weight: being overweight can increase stress on the joints of the foot and worsen arthritic symptoms.
  • Watch your diet: eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grain products and lean protein. Limit your intake of sugary drinks and red meat.
  • Use orthotics.
  • Wear comfortable shoes: with good support and cushioning.
  • Avoid overexertion.
  • Manage stress: yoga, meditation or outdoor exercise.
  • See your doctor regularly.

Even small lifestyle changes can make a big difference in your symptoms. With arthritis of the foot, you don't have to live with pain. With treatment and proper care, you can lead an active and fulfilling life.

Why Choose Our Clinic?

Illinois Foot & Ankle Clinic is a leading foot and ankle care clinic in Des Plaines, Illinois. We offer a wide range of foot and ankle care services, utilizing the latest treatments and technology.

Here are just a few of the reasons why you should choose Illinois Foot & Ankle Clinic

  • Our podiatrist, Dr. Alex Yanovskiy, DPM is certified by the American Board of Foot and Ankle Surgery and have years of experience treating a variety of podiatric conditions.
  • We offer a comprehensive approach to treatment that includes a variety of treatment modalities such as conservative treatment, physical therapy, orthotics, and surgery.
  • We utilize the latest diagnostic and treatment technologies to provide our patients with the best possible care.
  • We are proud to have an excellent reputation and receive many positive reviews from our patients.

If you are experiencing pain or discomfort in your foot or ankle, make an appointment at Illinois Foot & Ankle Clinic. Our experienced podiatrist and surgeon, Dr. Alex Yanovskiy, DPM can help you get back to an active and fulfilling life.

We are confident that you will be pleased with our level of care and service.

Contact Us

Have any questions? Reach out to us from our contact form and we will get back to you shortly.

Address
1400 East Golf Rd, Unit 201, Des Plaines, IL 60016

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