Have you been struggling to walk in late? Have you experienced aches and pains in the ankle or foot? If yes, you may have foot arthritis. Osteoarthritis is one type of arthritis caused by wear and tear to the joint. You may find that the joint starts to swell and in time, there may be some deformity. Arthritis is an umbrella term for one hundred or more diseases which affects the joints. Translated, arthritis simply means joint inflammation although, for many people, the word arthritis incites fear as these conditions have the potential to impact life on many levels.
Unfortunately, arthritis can be extremely painful, especially when affecting weight-bearing joints. The bones begin to grate against each other and this leads to the soft tissues of the joints also breaking down. Osteoarthritis is often associated with age. It’s certainly the most common of the arthritic conditions and is a degenerative disease.
Taking control of osteoarthritis.
Although seeking medical advice is paramount, there is much that can be done to keep osteoarthritis at bay. This includes exercising the joints to keep mobility. It is important to be gentle and to only exercise as much as you can without feeling pain. The joint may feel stiff and inflexible but, do this several times a day at least. Any movement is better than none. It is so important to retain as much flexibility as is possible. Yoga as an exercise system can ensure flexibility of the whole body and works well to combat arthritis generally and it will certainly help alleviate the potential for future joint pain.
The following are specific exercises to help offset the potential for foot arthritis and these include:
- Toe pull – place an elastic band around all the toes and then, working against the resistance of the band, spread your toes wide. Repeat this up to 10 times.
- Toe curl – If you have small circular objects or, marbles, spend some time trying to pick the marbles up using your toes only.
- Achilles stretch – Standing up, place your palms flat on the wall and then, lean towards the wall. Place one foot back and one forward. Both heels should be on the floor and this stretches the calf muscles and Achilles tendon. Repeat three times.
- Ankle alphabet – Sitting in a chair, place both feet flat on the floor. Lift the foot with arthritis from the floor and with your foot extended, try to slowly trace all the letters of the alphabet. Repeat this on the other foot too even if there is no sign of arthritis.
Look after your feet.
When you have osteoarthritis, comfort will suddenly mean everything. You must look for shoes that provide support and that fit properly.
- Choose rubber soles for extra cushioning
- Make sure the shoe is flexible
- Ensure that the fit is correct
- Avoid slip-on shoes
On a day to day basis, there is much that you can do to stop osteoarthritis from becoming worse. But, it is important to have a medical assessment to ensure that the condition is monitored. Arthritis can be a progressive condition and pain management is important as well as treatment to prevent it from becoming worse. Physical therapy may be useful to work alongside your exercise regime and you can also use arch supports or pads to help support your feet when walking.
There are many different types of medical treatments available and this will be discussed in full when you have your doctor’s appointment. It is worth considering stem cell therapy if offered as it has been providing excellent results for arthritic joints. Degenerative diseases now tend to heal much quicker and stem cell therapy promotes natural healing because it promotes the repair of tissues within the joints, thereby increasing mobility and flexibility.