Rheumatoid arthritis is common and can lead to additional issues when it affects your feet and ankles. As a result, it is to your advantage to spot rheumatoid arthritis early and to work with your podiatrist to manage it effectively.
Symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis of the Foot
At first, the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis may be mild or intermittent. For those reasons, many people ignore the occasional pain and discomfort at first. It would be far better, however, to see a podiatrist as soon as you notice the following symptoms:
- Inflammation, stiffness, and/or pain in the joints of the foot—especially in the toes
- Persistent aching in the feet—especially after long periods of standing or after exercise or other activities
- An unusual sense of warmth in some parts of your foot but not in others
- Swelling in the ankle and/or toe joints
These issues can lead to other problems, including:
- Circulation issues
- Hammertoes or claw toes
Managing Rheumatoid Arthritis
Once your podiatrist has made a diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis based on the symptoms we have listed above, they will help you manage the symptoms and slow the progression of the condition. Options include:
- A prescription biologic to reduce inflammation and to prevent arthritis from worsening
- Steroid injections to reduce inflammation
- Pain relievers
- Custom orthotics
- Compression and/or bracing
- Stretching exercises
- Soaking feet in warm water on a regular basis
- As a last resort: Surgery to repair cartilage and joint damage or to remove inflamed tissue
We Can Help You Manage Rheumatoid Arthritis
Rheumatoid arthritis can’t be cured, but it can be effectively managed so that problems related to it can be minimized. The key is to get a diagnosis early and to follow your podiatrist’s advice about treatment and ongoing care of your feet.
At InStride Carolina Podiatry Group, our doctors can diagnose any issues that are causing pain or discomfort in your feet and/or ankles. Don’t brush off the pain in the hope that it will just get better on its own. Instead, contact us right away so that we can help you maintain your active lifestyle.