Foot care is often overlooked by everyone—not just #RAWarriors. People dealing with RA feet symptoms need to pay extra attention to their feet and find ways and set aside time to ensure their health.
Little steps every day need to be achieved to keep the body healthy especially for #RAWarriors. Just like healthy eating choices, proper feet-related decisions can save an individual with RA much time, energy, and money in the future.
The Importance of Feet
The feet bear the weight of the whole body and are for most people the parts of the body in constant contact with some surface. Ensuring their proper hygiene and support are essential for future health and comfort.
Rheumatoid arthritis usually starts in the smaller joints of feet and the hands. As rheumatoid arthritis progresses, it affects the larger joints inflicting more pain and discomfort. When rheumatoid arthritis affects the feet, the pain causes people to shift into unhealthy standing positions. It can damage the joint, which also could lead to an injurious stance.
Here are some common complications of the feet stemming from rheumatoid arthritis:
- Valgus heel pushes the heel unnaturally pushes outward.
- Inflammation under the sole of the foot—AKA plantar fasciitis—causes pain under the heel.
- Bunions are enlargements of the joint at the base of the big toe inside the foot.
- Hammertoes and claw toes occur when the toes are permanently bent under typically at the base joint.
- Firm lumps—commonly known as rheumatoid nodules about the size of a pea—are due to pressure on the foot such as the soles and the big toe joints.
- Bursitis or fluid-filled sacs—called bursae—inflame and swell the ball of the foot.
- Charcot arthropathy, also called Charcot foot, is where the ankle collapses and plunges through the bottom of the foot.
- The angling of the big toe inward toward the other toes also called Hallux valgus.
- Numbness and tingling from inflammation is common and affects the peripheral nerves.
But don’t stress about these potential problems. There are ways to prevent and avoid distortions and pain.
What to Wear and What to Do
Make Sure the Proper Footwear Is in The Closet
A shoe with an orthotic arch is extremely beneficial to just about anyone who experiences back pain, knee pain, and leg pain. For #RAWarriors, it’s crucial. It disperses the weight of the body throughout the foot, so the ankle avoids dropping into the arch. Women should avoid frequent use of pointed-toe shoes and high-heels.
Massages and Foot Baths
Sounds superfluous, but massages and foot baths can help ease the pain, diminish the numbness from RA symptoms, and keep feet clean—it’s also very stress-relieving. Going to a salon that has pedicures is more expensive than performing a massage and foot bath at home, but it’s certainly an option. For those who want to stay at home, simply soak feet in a bowl or tub of warm water with some astringent soap, take feet out of the water, then, vigorously work lotion into all parts of the feet.
The Road Does Not Have to Be Long and Tiresome
If suffering from rheumatoid arthritis, appreciate the importance of small steps every single day. Addressing early symptoms can help circumvent bigger ones in the future. Take care of feet in simple, easy ways now, and possibly avoid more severe complications down the road.