Rheumatoid Foot Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic inflammatory condition that attacks the joints, particularly the wrists, hands and feet. It can also affect many tissues and organs. Foot problems are very common in patients with rheumatoid arthritis, they can often be more severe than a healthy individual.

Rheumatoid arthritis can adversely affect tissues, organs and joints in the body. This can cause pain, swelling, deformity and collapse of the structure of the foot. Deformity in the foot can lead to a number of difficulties. Corns and callous may appear over points of high pressure causing pain. Swelling may mean a person can no longer wear their normal footwear. The collapse of the structure of the foot may lead to a ‘flat foot’ that does not function well and leads to difficulty walking.

Your podiatrist will help make your rheumatoid feet more comfortable by advising on footwear, treating painful pressure areas with the removal of callous and corns. These corns and callous plaques are often caused because of swelling and joint changes in the feet. Patients with rheumatoid arthritis need regular treatment to ensure these corns and callous plaques do not break down into ulcers.

Top tips for dealing with rheumatoid feet:

  • Stretching your Achilles tendons, along with the tendons in the balls of your feet and toes, can help improve joint mobility and relieve pain.
  • Ensure that your shoes have arch support, are wide enough for your feet, and are comfortable enough to minimise pain.
  • Moisturising your feet daily to reduce breakdown in the skin.
  • Have regular contact with your rheumatologist to control flare ups.
  • Regular podiatric care to reduce risks of breakdown.
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