Posts for tag: Rheumatoid Arthritis

Your podiatrist is a foot and ankle specialist who can treat a wide variety of foot, ankle, and toe conditions. Your ankles, feet, and toes perform important functions helping you move, balance, and stand. When you are having a problem with your feet, ankles, or toes, it can dramatically affect your mobility and your life.

These are some common toe injuries and their treatments:

  • Hammertoes–treated with custom orthotics, footwear, or surgery
  • Ingrown toenails–treated with thinning or cutting the ingrown part of the toenail or laser therapy
  • Fungal toenail–treated with anti-fungal medications or laser therapy

Common foot injuries and conditions and their treatments include:

  • Plantar fasciitis–treated with orthotics, corticosteroids, and other anti-inflammatory medication
  • Heel pain–treated with inserts, orthotics, wedges, anti-inflammatories, and ESWT
  • Bunions–treated with orthotics, corticosteroids, and surgery

Common ankle injuries and their treatments include:

  • Lateral ankle instability–treated with orthotics, braces and other assistive devices, and surgery
  • Sprained or strained ankles–treated with braces and other assistive devices, anti-inflammatory medications, ice therapy, and rest

Your podiatrist also can treat foot, ankle, and toe injuries resulting from a medical condition. Some of the medical conditions which affect the ankles, feet, and toes include:

Diabetes, which can affect your circulatory, immune, and nervous systems, causing delayed healing, peripheral neuropathy, sensory loss, and blood loss in your extremities.

Rheumatoid and osteoarthritis, which can cause joint pain and stiffness, leading to loss of flexibility and mobility.

Treatment with a podiatrist begins with a comprehensive examination of your ankles, feet, and toes. Your visit may include imaging studies of the affected area, and laboratory testing to determine if there is an underlying condition which needs to be treated.

After your podiatrist has diagnosed your foot, ankle, or toe condition, your podiatrist will develop an individualized treatment plan designed to:

  • Relieve pain
  • Restore flexibility
  • Restore mobility

To find out more about common foot and ankle injuries and how your podiatrist can treat them, talk with an expert. Call your podiatrist today.

By Iowa Foot & Ankle Clinic
December 16, 2020
Category: Foot Condition
How Rheumatoid Arthritis Affects the FeetRheumatoid arthritis is one of the most common types of arthritis, and it is characterized by joint pain, inflammation, and damage. RA, like other kinds of arthritis, is progressive, which means that symptoms will gradually get worse over time if left untreated. So, how do you know if you might be developing RA in your feet? While a podiatrist can certainly provide you with a definitive diagnosis, here are some telltale signs of rheumatoid arthritis.
  • You experience pain, inflammation, and stiffness in the joints of the foot, particularly the toes
  • You experience aching feet, particularly after activity or long periods of standing
  • Some parts of your foot may feel oddly warm to the touch or may emanate heat while the rest of the foot feels normal
  • The joints of the toes and ankles may swell
Symptoms are often mild at first and you may not even think that you have arthritis. Those between the ages of 30 to 60 are more likely to develop RA. You may notice intense flare-ups that are characterized by bouts of remission (in which you don’t experience symptoms). Do not take these symptom-free moments to mean that you are fine. It’s important to see a podiatrist right away if you are experiencing any of the symptoms above.

What does RA do to the feet and ankles?

Along with painful joints and stiffness, you may also notice other changes to your feet over time. Some of these changes include,
  • Bunions
  • Corns
  • Hammertoes and claw toes
  • Bursitis
  • Circulation issues (e.g. atherosclerosis; Raynaud’s phenomena)
How is rheumatoid arthritis treated?

Since RA is not curable, your podiatrist will focus on crafting a treatment plan that will help to alleviate your symptoms and slow the progression of the disease to prevent severe and irreparable joint damage. Prescription medications known as disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs) are biologics that can reduce inflammation and prevent the progression of the disease.

Of course, there are also lifestyle changes you can make along with taking prescription medication that can also ease symptoms,
  • Warm soaks
  • Custom insoles or orthotics
  • Pain relievers
  • Compression
  • Stretching exercises for the feet
  • Bracing
  • Steroid injections (for targeting severe inflammation)
Surgery is only necessary if there is severe joint or cartilage damage, or if inflamed tissue needs to be removed from around the joint.

Most people with RA will eventually develop foot and ankle problems, which is why it’s important to have a podiatrist on your team that can help you manage your RA effectively.


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