Arthritic foot pain should not be ignored, and should be treated as soon as possible.  

Your medical team should include your family physician and a podiatrist.


    Arthritis & Foot Pain: Tips to Ease Pain

    8 Ways to Manage that Arthritic Foot Pain

    1. Exercise – Stretching, range of motion, and functional exercises are all ideal for preventing arthritic foot pain. 

    2. Weight Loss – Weight puts plenty of stress and strain on your joints.  If you are overweight, shedding excess kilos can make a significant difference to your feet.

    3. Supportive Footwear – Invest in shoes that provide your foot with support and feature a high, wide toe box.  Shoes with rocker-bottom soles are a good choice for those suffering from ankle pain.  You should avoid wearing high heel shoes and shoes with pointed toes. 

    4. Knee, Ankle and Foot Supports – Elastic bandages and braces that provide mild compression and support can help reduce stress placed on joints.

    5. Heat/Cold Therapy – Apply heating pads or ice packs to inflammed joints can help aches and pains.

    6. Glucosamine with Chondroitin Supplements – Supplements may help to slow the deterioration of cartilage between joint bone and reduce pain.

    7. Over The Counter Pain Medication – Over the counter medication such as aspirin and ibuprofen may help with Arthritic foot pain.

    8. Surgery – Surgical techniques on feet has improved dramatically over the past 10 years with greater success rates. 

    Remember, it is not normal for joints to hurt anywhere in your body.  If you are experiencing frequent or recurring foot pain, it is time you talked to a foot health expert. 

    The Foot Primer: Bones, Joints, Muscles, Tendons & Ligaments

    An overview of the main structures of the feet. Each foot is made up of 28 bones, 30 joints and more than 100 muscles, tendons and ligaments, all of which work together to provide support, balance and mobility.


    Bones

    Nearly one-fourth of the body's bones are in our feet. The bones of the feet are:

    • Talus  the bone on top of the foot that forms a joint with the two bones of the lower leg, the tibia and fibula.
    • Calcaneus – the largest bone of the foot, which lies beneath the talus to form the heel bone. 
    • Tarsals  five irregularly shaped bones of the midfoot that form the foot's arch. The tarsal bones are the cuboid, navicular and medial, intermediate and lateral cuneiforms.
    • Metatarsals  five bones (labeled one through five, starting with the big toe) that make up the forefoot.
    • Phalanges (singular: phalanx)  the 14 bones that make up the toes. The big toe consists of two phalanges – the distal and proximal. The other toes have three.
    • Sesamoids  two small, pea-shaped bones that lie beneath the head of the first metatarsal in the ball of the foot.


    Joints

    Joints in the feet are formed wherever two or more of these bones meet. Except for the big toe, each of the toes has three joints, which include:

    • Metatarsophalangeal joint (MCP) – the joint at the base of the toe
    • Proximal interphalangeal joint (PIP) – the joint in the middle of the toe
    • Distal phalangeal joint (DP) – the joint closest to the tip of the toe.

    Each big toe has two joints:

    • Metatarsophalangeal joint
    • Interphalangeal joint

    The surfaces of the bones where they meet to form joints are covered with a layer of cartilage, which allows them to glide smoothly against one another as they move. The joints are enclosed by a fibrous capsule that is lined with a thin membrane called the synovium, which secretes a fluid to lubricate the joints.



    Muscles

    Twenty muscles give the foot its shape, support and the ability to move. The main muscles of the foot are:

    • The tibilias posterior, which supports the foot's arch
    • The tibilias anterior, which allows the foot to move upward
    • The tibilias peroneal, which controls movement on the outside of the ankle
    • The extensors, which help raise the toes, making it possible to take a step
    • The flexors, which help stabilize the toes.

    Tendons and Ligaments

    Many tendons attach these muscles to the bones and ligaments that hold the bones together to maintain the foot's arch.

    The main tendon of the foot is the Achilles tendon, which runs from the calf muscle to the heel. The Achilles tendon makes it possible to run, jump, climb stairs and stand on your toes.

    The main ligaments of the foot are:

    • Plantar fascia – the longest ligament of the foot. The ligament, which runs along the sole of the foot, from the heel to the toes, forms the arch. By stretching and contracting, the plantar fascia helps us balance and gives the foot strength for walking.
    • Plantar calcaneonavicular ligament – a ligament of the sole of the foot that connects the calcaneus and navicular and supports the head of the talus.
    • Calcaneocuboid ligament – the ligament that connects the calcaneus and the tarsal bones and helps the plantar fascia support the arch of the foot.



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