… Continued …
Control the underlying cause!
If your pain and swelling in your toes are caused by rheumatoid arthritis (RA), make sure you follow the treatment plan to control your RA as well. Ask your doctor for more guidance!
There’s still no curative therapy, but treatments can help control the disease and drive it go into remission. Remission can last for years, making your risk of developing RA complications (including damage to your toes) decreases.
Just remember, more flare-ups (periods of when RA symptoms worsen) you have, the greater the risk of developing RA complications! So it’s very important to keep the disease off – see also natural remedies for rheumatoid arthritis!
Choose the right footwear!
Bad, improper footwear can make the problem worse. Pointy-toed or tight shoes, as well as high-heels are not recommended, because they put extra pressure on the ball of your foot and don’t accommodate the deformity.
Choose shoe with a high ceiling, wide toe, and low heel. Shoes with an extra 3/8 inches for your extra toe box are much better. Choose also some made from soft leather to help relieve pressure. In essence, make sure your shoes will not rub your foot!
If necessary, certain devices such as pads or orthotics are recommended to help provide a good arch support, relieve the pressure, and distribute the weight evenly. For more information about this option, ask a podiatrist!
- Eating right and keep your weight off! Though there is no specific diet for RA, some foods may help soothe the inflammation (see more in here). Your diet also plays a key role to maintain your weight. More pounds of extra weight you gain mean more extra pressure that heats your joints.
- Keep active! Unfortunately, it’s not always easy to exercise with the disease especially during flare-ups. Since exercise is important for your overall health (including your joints), try to keep active as much as you can. Just make sure to choose exercise that doesn’t put high pressure on your joints, such as swimming.
- While getting plenty of physical activity every day is important, don’t stand all day (take your load off)! Try to alternate your activities so you can have the balance between ‘when you’re sitting part of the day’ and ‘when you have to stand at other times’.
- Hot or/and cold therapies may help, too. A daily foot massage, for example, is recommended by the Arthritis Foundation to help ease aching joints.
Check your feet every day to look for any minor scrapes or cuts. See a doctor if they don’t heal in 2-3 days!