Tips for Easing Arthritis Pain in Your Feet
One reason older folks often move to warmer climates is that it can make their arthritis pain more comfortable. You know how wonderful a warm foot soak can feel—you can almost hear those creaky joints relaxing. Imagine then the benefit of soaking up the warm southern California sun (as long as you protect from burning)!
Heat therapy is only one way of easing arthritis pain. There are many pain medications that can be prescribed—although some come with side effects. We want to share a few other tips to help your sore joints feel better without popping lots of pills:
- Topical creams and gels contain non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs that numb the nerve endings. Absorbing them through the skin in areas of pain seems to be less harmful than ingesting them to act throughout your whole body. The main risk is that they may irritate your skin.
- Choosing the right shoes can lessen pressure on certain joints or improve your posture and foot function so bones are aligned better and bear less pain-causing friction as you move.
- Keep moving to keep discomfort at bay. While might seem to make painful joints worse, it actually can have the opposite effect. It can help maintain range of motion and keep joints from stiffening up. We can prescribe physical therapy that targets your particular arthritis pain problems.
- Besides the heat therapy we described at the beginning, cold therapy can also help ease arthritis discomfort. That’s because cold sensations are sent to the brain on larger nerve fibers, beating out the pain sensations that travel along the smaller nerves. Cold also helps reduce inflammation and swelling.
- Meditation in its various forms (yoga, mindful breathing, guided imagery, progressive relaxation) can help reduce stress in your body—one of the main causes of inflammation. Doing this regularly can reduce your brain’s sensitivity to pain messages.
Other helpful habits that can ease your pain include using a cane or walker to offload pressure on your feet and watching what you eat so that sugar highs don’t increase inflammation. We can also provide treatments such as TENS (electrical stimulation therapy), steroid or hyaluronic acid injections, or nerve blocks.
Call Southern California Foot & Ankle Specialists and find out which of these techniques might work best for the type of arthritis you have. Our expert podiatrists are ready to help you attain the best pain-free foot health you can achieve. Our office is located in Ladera Ranch, CA, and we can be reached at (949) 364-WALK (9255).