How to Cure Your Foot and Ankle Arthritis Pain

Foot and ankle pain can keep you from doing all the things you love. Your ankles and feet support walking, running, jumping, and hiking, but when arthritis has affected one or more of the 30 joints in the foot and ankle region, these activities become nearly impossible.

At Hoosier Foot and Ankle, the expert podiatrists are available to help you manage arthritis pain so that you can continue to use your feet and ankles for mobility and fun activities. Here are some of their best tips to help you feel so great that you’ll feel you’ve cured foot and ankle arthritis pain.

Achieve a healthy weight

Your feet and ankles bear almost all of your weight. If you’re carrying several extra pounds, you’re stressing your feet and ankles that much more. 

Those who are overweight can take steps to lose excess weight by eating a healthy diet and being active in a low impact way (maybe in the pool or on a stationary bike) so as not to aggravate foot and ankle arthritis pain. These steps can help you lose a few pounds and ease pain in your joints.

Get good shoes

How your feet and ankles are supported in everyday activity matters. A well-fitted shoe that’s not overworn can make all the difference.

We here at Hoosier Foot and Ankle make recommendations for custom-fitted shoes that can offer the support you need to ease pain. If you aren’t quite ready for an entire custom shoe, podiatrist-created orthotics made just for your foot are another great option. They can provide support in the heel and optimize foot placement to minimize arthritis pain.

If you aren’t ready to invest in custom products, our doctors can help you navigate the many stock options available on drugstore shelves. Although these aren’t nearly as effective as an orthotic or shoe made for your foot, they may be better than no support when it comes to your foot and ankle pain.

Ask about medications

The podiatrists at Hoosier Foot and Ankle may recommend over-the-counter pain medications or anti-inflammatory medications to help you manage arthritis symptoms. If these aren’t powerful enough to ease pain, they may recommend steroid injections into the joints. Steroids are impressive anti-inflammatories that can really help with pain and improve limited range of motion, but their “curative” effects are temporary.

Enroll in physical therapy

At Hoosier Foot and Ankle, our team educates you on specific foot and ankle exercises that help increase your range of motion and flexibility. Another goal of physical therapy exercises is to help strengthen the muscles in your foot and ankle. Exercises depend on where exactly you feel your pain and your movement goals.

If you ever find that physical therapy exercises aggravate your pain, speak up. We want to customize a plan that works for you and that you can use at home to ease pain.

Use a brace or cane

An assistive device can be a great alternative to medication. Plus, these devices can sometimes offer more support and possible relief than simple inserts or shoes.

Here at Hoosier Foot and Ankle, we may offer an ankle-foot orthosis – or a “boot” – to help minimize pressure on your foot and decrease pain. Canes are another way to reduce pressure on arthritic feet and ankles, but still allow you to be mobile and independent.

Our team at Hoosier Foot and Ankle wants to help you with all your foot and ankle needs. With offices in Carmel, Indianapolis, Franklin, Greenwood, and at Indiana University (IU) Health Saxony Hospital in Fishers, Indiana, our offices are conveniently located with flexible hours to serve your needs. Make an appointment today by calling the office or by using the online tool.

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