How to deal with the symptoms of arthritis in your feet
Much like the tyres on your car, your feet come into contact with the ground almost constantly. Thus, they’re the part of the body that’s subjected to the most wear and tear. But unlike the tyres on your car, you can’t simply remove your old feet and put on a new set.
As we get older, our feet become increasingly vulnerable to arthritis. This is a term used to refer to a set of debilitating conditions affecting the joints. The most common varieties of arthritis in the UK are osteoarthritis, which causes cartilage to progressively wear down, and rheumatoid arthritis, which leads to swelling.
If you’re suffering from pain in your feet, then you should make it a priority to visit the doctor. The sooner you can identify these problems, the easier they’ll be to deal with in the long run. With that said, if you’ve already got the diagnosis, there are a few strategies you might employ to deal with the symptoms and improve the prognosis.
There’s a body of research to indicate that some of the symptoms associated with osteoarthritis, such as pain along the medial aspect of the knee, can be improved with the help of barefoot walking. This improves proprioception – which is the body’s ability to sense its own movements.
Of course, it’s impractical to forego footwear entirely. For this reason, it’s worth investing in barefoot shoes, which attempt to simulate the barefoot experience while protecting your feet against sharp objects, black ice and sun-baked pavements.
A number of exercises have been developed over the years to aid arthritic people. These can be recommended by a qualified physiotherapist, or you might elect to pursue some of them of your own initiative, in a practical way. Stretching and building the muscles of your legs can improve flexibility and mobility, and ultimately reduce the strain on your joints. Just make sure that you start slowly, build gradually, and ease off whenever you experience pain.
There are a number of therapeutic interventions, medical and otherwise, that might help you to deal with the pain of arthritis. You might be tempted to consider alternative therapies, like acupuncture, and reflexology. There’s also hot-and-cold therapy to consider. This involves applying high and low temperatures to the affected part of your body, alternately, in order to reduce stiffness and eliminate pain.
One thing that can be enormously powerful is a foot massage. You can have these performed by a skilled practitioner, or you can do them yourself. You might also invest in an electronic massage gun, which can help to loosen muscles and alleviate tension with the press of a button.
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