Posts for: December, 2020
- You experience pain, inflammation, and stiffness in the joints of the foot, particularly the toes
- You experience aching feet, particularly after activity or long periods of standing
- Some parts of your foot may feel oddly warm to the touch or may emanate heat while the rest of the foot feels normal
- The joints of the toes and ankles may swell
What does RA do to the feet and ankles?
Along with painful joints and stiffness, you may also notice other changes to your feet over time. Some of these changes include,
- Hammertoes and claw toes
- Circulation issues (e.g. atherosclerosis; Raynaud’s phenomena)
Since RA is not curable, your podiatrist will focus on crafting a treatment plan that will help to alleviate your symptoms and slow the progression of the disease to prevent severe and irreparable joint damage. Prescription medications known as disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs) are biologics that can reduce inflammation and prevent the progression of the disease.
Of course, there are also lifestyle changes you can make along with taking prescription medication that can also ease symptoms,
- Warm soaks
- Custom insoles or orthotics
- Pain relievers
- Stretching exercises for the feet
- Steroid injections (for targeting severe inflammation)
Most people with RA will eventually develop foot and ankle problems, which is why it’s important to have a podiatrist on your team that can help you manage your RA effectively.
A hallux valgus, commonly called a bunion, is a bump found on the big toe’s base-side portion. While usually painless, bunions are more than just bumps. This visible bump reflects significant changes in the foot’s bony framework. When you have a bunion, your big toe will gradually lean toward the adjacent toe instead of pointing straight. In turn, this causes misalignment of the bones, resulting in a bunion.
Bunion symptoms typically manifest during the condition’s later stages, while some individuals won’t experience any symptoms. That being said, if your bunion is painful and affecting your daily life, visit your podiatrist, Dr. Jesse Anderson, here at AAL Podiatry Associates in our Norfolk, VA, or Suffolk, VA, office, for proper treatment.
Nonsurgical Bunion Treatments
Bunion treatments are essentially aimed at alleviating pain and discomfort since it’s impossible to reverse the deformity. These include the following:
- Activity adjustments: Refrain from performing activities that aggravate your symptoms.
- Wearing supportive footwear. Opt for shoes with ample space for the toes and avoid those that have pointed toe boxes of high heels, as these could exacerbate your condition.
- NSAIDs or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs can help minimize inflammation and pain.
- Cold therapy. Applying a cold compress or ice pack a couple of times daily to your bunion can help relieve pain and swelling.
- Orthotic devices. Ask your podiatrist in our Norfolk, VA, or Suffolk, VA, office about orthotic devices that be customized to your specific circumstances.
- Corticosteroid injections. While not common, corticosteroid injections are sometimes recommended by doctors if the bunion comes with an inflamed bursa.
Surgery for Bunions
When nonsurgical bunion treatments fail to ease your symptoms and/or your symptoms start to negatively impact your daily activities, your podiatrist might suggest surgical intervention. There are a couple of surgeries used for treating bunions, and your podiatrist will take into account your age, the severity of your bunion, and other vital factors to determine the most suitable surgical procedure for you.
Essentially, the goal of surgical treatments is to get rid of the bony bump, eliminate pain, fix changes in soft tissue, as well as correct any changes in the structure of the affected foot.
Need Help With Your Bunion? Reach Out to Us
Book a consultation with your podiatrist, Dr. Jesse Anderson of AAL Podiatry Associates by calling our Norfolk, VA, office at (757) 625-2962 or Suffolk, VA, office at (757) 539-2098.
If you have high arches, you may notice them but not experience any problems; however, those with high arches bear more weight on the balls and heels of the feet. Over time, you may develop corns, calluses, hammertoes, painful calf muscles, or foot pain. If you have high arches, a podiatrist can provide you with a variety of ways to support your feet to prevent these problems.
Consider wearing custom orthotics
Orthotics are special devices that are placed inside the shoes to improve stability and to cushion the foot. These devices can reduce shock absorption while standing, walking, or running. While there are over-the-counter orthotics that you can buy, they aren’t specifically designed to fit your feet or treat the issues you’re dealing with.
A podiatrist can provide you with custom-fitted orthotics that can help to support the arches of your feet and distribute weight more evenly among the foot to prevent heel pain and pain in the ball of the foot.
Wear shoes that support your feet
You must be also wearing shoes that can accommodate your high arches, especially if you are on your feet most of the day or participate in physical activities. Those with high arches are prone to stress fractures and ankle sprains, and you must consider shoes that have,
- A high top that can cushion and support the ankles
- A spacious toe box that won’t put pressure on the toes or cause irritation to preexisting deformities such as hammertoes or bunions
- A midsole that has added cushioning to reduce pressure
- A high-abrasion rubber outsole that will provide more durability (especially important for running shoes and athletic footwear)
Talk to your podiatrist about bracing
In some cases, your podiatrist may also recommend bracing the feet and ankles to help stabilize them and provide additional support. If your podiatrist has told you that you also have a drop foot, which means that you have trouble lifting the front of your foot, then bracing may also be a great way to manage this problem and provide a more natural and comfortable gait when walking.
While high arches alone aren’t a cause for concern it can be good to know about potential issues that it can cause along the way so you can take the necessary precautions now to protect your feet. If you are dealing with foot pain or other problems, a podiatrist can help.