11 Ways to Keep Your Feet Healthy with Psoriatic Arthritisby Casey Nilsson Patient Advocate
Ease your joint pain associated with psoriatic arthritis of the feet - as well as tendon pain, plantar fasciitis, and Achilles tendinitis, which can all occur when you have PsA - by implementing these simple self-care and preventive measures every day.
Wear Sneakers as Often as Possible
Visit an athletic store that can measure the length and width of your feet and assess your arch. That way, you'll know exactly what brand and style works for your foot. A comfortable walking shoe, with good shock absorption, is the best choice. The next best option is a lightweight hiking boot with ankle support.
Try Boots or Low Heels for the Workplace
A boot with a rubberized sole and low heel is a great choice for people with psoriatic arthritis. It provides ankle support without sacrificing style or comfort. High heels should be avoided; a low-heeled dress shoe - think: an inch or less - with a wide toe is the best option. Rubber-soled clogs with a closed back and flats are good choices, too, if they also offer some arch support.
Leave Some Wiggle Room
Since your inflammation levels vary from day to day, choose shoes with a little bit of wiggle room. A wider width is preferable. Wear thick padded socks when you're trying on shoes to ensure they'll be roomy enough for everyday wear.
Do Foot Exercises
First thing in the morning - you can do it from bed! - wiggle your toes for twenty seconds, then make circles with your feet for 10 seconds. It's also worthwhile to use your hands to stretch apart your toes, one by one, and give your joints a mini-massage. When your feet hit the floor, curl your toes in to give some relief to the balls of your feet. Repeat again before bed.
Use Orthopedic Inserts
You can choose arch supports from the drugstore or shoe store (try Superfeet or Dr. Scholl's) or you can visit a podiatrist for specially fitted orthotic inserts.
Soak Your Feet
Warm water or cold water therapy will work for sore joints in the feet. Add some Epsom salts or lavender essential oil for a luxurious, anti-inflammatory boost.
Kick Your Feet Up
Elevate your feet at the end of the day, especially if you experience swelling - or "sausage toes" - in addition to joint pain.
Get a Massage
Whether you give yourself a mini foot massage after a foot soak or you visit a spa, a massage will help relieve some pain symptoms associated with psoriatic arthritis of the feet. Be sure to inform your massage therapist of your condition.
The ancient practice, where thin, sterile needles are inserted into various points on the body, can help with chronic pain and is relaxing, too.
Take an Anti-inflammatory
Over-the-counter NSAIDs – or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs – like Ibuprofen or aspirin will help reduce inflammation in the feet. Omega-3 fatty acids and turmeric are also powerful holistic anti-inflammatories.
Get a Professional Opinion
Visit your rheumatologist or a podiatrist for insight. Depending on the severity of your inflammation and disease progress, you may need to consider physiotherapy, corticosteroid injections, or surgery.