How Can A Podiatrist Help You Manage Your Rheumatoid Arthritis?

If rheumatoid arthritis affects your lower legs and feet, then you can add a podiatrist to your medical team. How will a podiatrist help you manage your condition? 

Symptom Management

Rheumatoid arthritis can cause problems with the lower legs, ankles, and feet. While medications might help you manage pain, they won't always relieve your underlying symptoms. For example, you might have trouble walking normally. Your feet might feel stiff and sore. You might have some inflammation and swelling in your lower legs, ankles, and feet.

A podiatrist can help you find ways to manage these problems. They can use various treatments to reduce pain and discomfort. For example, your podiatrist might give you steroid shots to reduce inflammation and restore some mobility. They can teach you how to use a combination of safe physical therapy exercises and rest to keep your legs and feet more mobile and in better shape.

Orthotic and Shoe Management

If your feet or lower limbs are swollen, painful, or stiff, then walking won't be easy. Your arthritis might change the shape of your feet and how you use them. You might find it hard to walk on certain surfaces or to go up and down stairs.

A podiatrist can help you get better support for your feet to mitigate some of the problems your condition causes. For example, they can prescribe orthotics that you wear in your shoes to correct misalignments and to manage associated conditions such as bunions. Orthotics can also cushion sore areas.

Plus, your podiatrist can help you choose the right shoes to wear to make standing and walking more comfortable. If you have supportive orthotics and shoes, then you'll find it easier to walk without as much pain or discomfort. You'll be steadier on your feet.

Foot Care Management

Rheumatoid arthritis can give you some additional foot problems. For example, you might get bunions, corns, areas of hard skin, and bone spurs. Your feet might also not heal as well if you get a cut on them or have an injury.

Your condition might prevent you from reaching your feet to take care of them. If your arthritis affects your hands and fingers, then you can't do simple tasks, such as cutting your toenails.

As part of your treatment, your podiatrist can give you basic foot care. They can do anything from trimming your toenails and removing hard skin to treating more serious damage.

For more help, schedule an appointment with a podiatrist.