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Arthritic Foot & Ankle Care

arthritic foot careDuring your lifetime, you will probably walk about 75,000 miles, which is quite a lot of stress to put on your feet. As you get older, the 26 bones and 30 joints in your body will lose flexibility and elasticity, and your foot’s natural shock absorbers will wear down too. Having arthritis in addition to life’s wear and tear only makes matters worse; the joints will become distorted and inflamed, making arthritic foot care an important thing to consider for your overall health.

When dealing with arthritis, having additional foot complications—such as bunions, hammertoes, or neuromas—may be a serious detriment. To avoid these, buying well-fitting shoes with a lower heel and good support is a must. Having shoes with good arch support is highly recommended.

Aside from getting good arch support, the shoes need to fit comfortably and properly as well. A good place to start is by leaving a finger width between the back of the shoe and your foot to gauge proper size. It is also helpful to have a square or rounded toe box in the front to provide even more comfort. Another thing to look for is a rubber sole that can provide a cushion and absorb shock as you walk. This adds flexibility to the ball of your foot when you push off your heel to walk.

Exercise is another key aspect of arthritic foot care, as it not only strengthens and stretches the muscles and joints but helps prevent further injury and pain as well. Certain non-steroid, non-inflammatory drugs or topical medicines may be recommended by your podiatrist to help ease arthritic pain. Be sure to visit your podiatrist to determine what method of care is best for you.