Did you know that arthritis can affect your feet? Today at Montgomery Foot Care Specialists, in recognition of Arthritis Awareness Month, we’re putting the focus on arthritic feet and what you can do about them.
Millions of people suffer from arthritis. This joint disease takes several forms but the two that most commonly affect your feet are osteoarthritis and gout.
- Osteoarthritis is a wearing down of the protective cartilage between bones that meet to form a joint. When the cartilage is worn or gone, bones grind against each other. This causes limited movement, pain, and swelling. Each of your feet has 30 joints, so there are many, many potential places for arthritis to set in.
- Gout starts with a build-up of uric acid in your bloodstream. The acid settles in your joints – most notably the joint at the base of your big toe – in a crystallized form and causes sudden intense pain, redness, and swelling.
Here are 5 great ways to help relieve the pain of arthritic feet:
- Exercise. Instinct may tell you to rest your aching joints. But stiffness and pain set in when joints aren’t moving. Exercise combats the pain by increasing your joint flexibility and building up the muscles surrounding your joints. Strong muscles support your joints and help slow the progression of arthritis. Try low-impact exercises that are easy on your joints such as swimming, yoga, Pilates, and cycling.
- Physical therapy. Controlled exercises with a physical therapist can build muscle and ease pressure on your joints.
- Change your diet. What you eat can trigger a gout attack. Foods high in purines (red meat, wine, and shellfish) may cause the body to retain too much uric acid.
- Lose weight. The 60 joints in your feet can all benefit from fewer pounds of pressure.
- Take the proper medications. Over-the-counter pain relievers can help reduce inflammation. Montgomery County foot experts Dr. Heidi M. Christie and Dr. Chanda L. Day-Houts can also prescribe stronger meds when you need them.
If you need help with arthritic feet and gout attacks, contact us at our state-of-the-art podiatry office in Montgomery, Alabama. Call us at (334) 396-3668 or make an appointment online.