If you’re one of the nearly one-quarter of Americans, or 58.5 million, who suffer from pain, swelling, and mobility problems caused by degenerative osteoarthritis, you know that this diagnosis is no laughing matter and that it can affect virtually any joint in your body — including your feet and ankles.
The super podiatry team at South Florida Foot & Ankle Centers treats patients with arthritis frequently and combines expertise in foot health with chronic conditions like diabetes and arthritis. Your treatment plan is customized to your condition and unique goals, and the providers are always enthusiastic about providing education and hearing your questions.
The lowdown on arthritis
You’re more prone to arthritis in any joint if you’re older than 50, female, or struggle with obesity, which stresses your joints. A family history of the disease also increases your risk, as does having a history of joint injury or if your job requires you to perform repetitive tasks.
In addition to pain and swelling, arthritis can:
- Cause intense aching
- Inhibit your flexibility
- Make your joints stiff
- Cause tenderness when applying pressure to the joint
- Limit your mobility
It’s even possible to hear arthritis. When you move your joint, you might hear and feel a grating sensation, as well as crackling or popping. Typically symptoms worsen when you’re active and decrease when you rest. Arthritis can cause foot pain, while foot health also impacts arthritis.
Footwear can offer solutions to arthritis pain
Whether you’re experiencing arthritis pain, swelling, and limited movement because of arthritis in your feet or ankles or somewhere else, we can share tips about how the shoes you choose can relieve your arthritis pain.
It makes sense to pamper your feet as you battle arthritis pain because they alone contain a whopping 66 joints. Your feet support your entire body and help you stay balanced.
If you live with arthritis, choosing the proper footwear is especially critical, and you can use devices to gain even more of an upper hand against pain and swelling.
1. Think carefully about the design of your shoes
Shoes with features like low heels and wide toe boxes are more forgiving to your feet and allow you to be better planted on the ground, which helps you move with more confidence and equilibrium. This is better for your arthritis than teetering on pointy-toed heels.
2. What about the bottoms of your shoes?
We mentioned heels, but if you wear low heels, go for a wedge style with a rubber sole. Not only do they lower your risk of falling and help with stability, but they also act like shock absorbers and lessen stress on your pressure points.
3. Orthotics and other shoe inserts offer relief
Orthotics and inserts help to redistribute weight, lessen pressure on tender parts of your feet, and reduce stress on your lower body. Their ability to rectify gait and structural problems also spells help for people living with arthritis.
4. Make sure your shoes are the “just right” combination of supportive and soft inside
The right amount of cushioning on the insides of your shoes, along with a good support structure, helps stabilize your feet — and your entire body — and “softens the blow” as you move and go about your day.
5. Consider an ankle boot
This type of footwear isn’t only stylish; it helps sufferers of ankle arthritis by surrounding the ankle with support.
6. Sufficient arch support is crucial
First, learn if you have low or high arches or perhaps you have flat feet. Depending on your situation, seek shoes that deliver the correct type of support that you need.
7. A light step is good
Consider the weight of your shoes — some can get quite heavy — and opt for a lighter-weight shoe so you can move more easily and put less stress on your body.
8. Don’t sacrifice style
Take a look online — shoes that help with arthritis pain don’t have to be ugly! They can be sporty, fun, and even dressy.
Aside from gaining relief from your symptoms of arthritis by wearing the proper footwear, you can also avoid joint damage in the future. The wrong shoes can wreak havoc on your body if you live with arthritis.
We offer a multitude of treatments for arthritis, from conservative, like orthotics, specially designed shoes, pain medications, and physical therapy, to advanced, like regenerative treatments like stem cell therapy and platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy, injections, and ankle joint replacement.
Call 561-793-6170 to schedule an appointment at the South Florida Foot and Ankle office that’s most convenient to you, or book one online. Our early morning, evening, and Saturday availability takes your busy schedule into account.