How a podiatrist can help with your Arthritis
Updated: Apr 26
Arthritis in the feet can have far reaching effects on other parts of the body aside from the immediately affected joints, and can potentially lead to shin, knee, hip and lower back pain due to the biomechanics and walking patterns we exert.
The chronic pain that arthritis sufferers feel can have a detrimental affect on their overall health, as not only does the pain limit movement, but also disturbs sleep and can lead to problems with overall well being and depression. Treatment for both osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis is focused on managing symptoms, such as pain, swelling and stiffness, as well as improving joint mobility and flexibility and controlling any contributing factors such as weight gain.
The golden standard and our favourite form of treatment for arthritic pain, is exercise. The importance of specific and generic exercise programs is crucial to get the best long term outcomes. Numerous studies have now shown the long term impacts and specifically, positive outcome measures, with exercise. Pain medication can also be prescribed by your local GP but generally nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are commonly used to ease inflammation and reduce pain.
As your podiatrist, we are also able to help offload any pain associated with restricted joint range of motion or foot deformity with a pair of custom orthotics. The most common foot deformities seen in patients with arthritis are hammertoes and bunions which can lead to reduced range of motion in the metatarsophalangeal joints causing pain when propelling through gait. Custom orthotics are able to effectively re-distribute weight and relieve pressure from certain areas of the feet, while allowing for greater range of motion of joints when weight bearing.
Orthotics also provide cushioning and shock absorbing properties that can help reduce load on the lower body and back. Not only can they correct foot biomechanics but they can also realign more proximal structures such as knees and hips correcting any gait and structural abnormalities. By offloading these joints, custom orthotics can also slow or prevent the progression of arthritis and its associated deformities.
To ensure the best possible treatment and outcome for our patients, all of our custom orthotics and made from a 3D scan of your feet where we are able to make the appropriate modifications and additions.
If you are experiencing arthritis related symptoms or have any foot pain associated with deformities such as bunions or hammer toes, our podiatrists in Oakleigh and Podiatrists in Kew are more than happy to conduct a thorough biomechanical assessment and educate you on the various treatment options available. You can contact us on (03) 9853 7836 or alternatively you can book an appointment online at www.alignhc.com.au.