Arthritic Feet -Self Care Series

We, Arthritic Warriors, are well aware of our feet aches!! It’s quite common for symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis to first appear in the feet, the forefoot, back of the feet, and ankles, and so on…in the earlier days of my diagnosis my toe would be particularly painful when I tried to lift it or when walking, but the pain did occur when at rest in too especially during severe flare-up stages.

Sometimes I used to feel it so stiff and loss of movement, which caused it an inability to bend the big toe upwards, which was so painful and made it difficult to walk. I used to get swelling and inflammation around the toe and the joint. Somedays I would observe a bump too like a bunion or callus around.

I also observed that I started to walk on the outside of my foot, causing pain in the ball of the foot. We need to listen and balance our body and its movements accordingly…

Our feet are a great indicator of health. They can tell us all kinds of things that could be wrong, but we just need to know how to listen to them. It’s also important to understand that heel pain may be an early sign of rheumatoid arthritis itself. In some cases, pain in the heel, ankle, or ball of the foot can be early indicators of this autoimmune disorder.

Simple daily exercises I try and do:

Knead the balls of my feet as well as my toes, starting at the top and working my way down to the base.

Apply heat. Heat relaxes my joints and muscles and relieves any pain I have. My heat treatments — warm squeezed towels, hot packs, or a shower, and I apply it for about 20 minutes.

Move gently. Move my joints gently at first to warm up. You might begin with range-of-motion exercises for five to 10 minutes before I move on to strengthening exercises.

Go slowly. Exercise with slow and easy movements. If I feel pain, I take a break.

Salt Soaks. I sometimes soaking them in magnesium-rich Epsom salt baths.

Walk barefoot around the house on days my feet are pain-free…so to give ample acupressure at the right points!

My Foot Fix: Rest, ice, compress, and elevate the toe.

It’s a common acronym known as RICE. Icing it and compressing the inflamed area can help tamp down on swelling and eases pain.

I trust my instincts and don’t exert more energy than I think my joints can handle. I take it easy and slowly increase my exercise length and intensity as I progress.

There is one rule, above all others, for a man. Whatever comes, face it on your feet…….Robert Jordan

 

 

 

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