Various types of arthritis, including more common diagnoses like rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis, can significantly damage the joints in your toes. Pain, swelling, and stiffness come with toe arthritis, but fortunately these issues can be addressed with toe arthritis treatment directed by a professional podiatrist.
International Aesthetic Foot Society-trained podiatrist Francine Rhinehart, DPM, addresses toe arthritis using the latest joint treatments, including injections and personalized toe stretches. At her practice in Dallas, Texas, she also teaches patients various shoe modifications and tips for footwear that can help you avoid aggravating your toe arthritis.
If you have toe arthritis, here’s what you can do about your footwear to manage symptoms:
With arthritis in your toes, you want footwear that takes the pressure off your toe joints. One way of doing this is to wear shoes with stiff, supportive soles. It’s also important to purchase shoes that have plenty of width, so they don’t place stress on your joints or cause unnatural positioning by squeezing your toes together.
As for the fabric on the sides of your shoes, it should be soft instead of rigid. Soft shoe materials have some give, which makes room for bunions and hammertoes without compressing them.
Shoes that let you adjust their fit with laces, velcro, or elastic are essential if you have toe arthritis. At certain times, arthritis can flare up with inflammation or swelling, which can change the size or shape of your feet. It’s easier to deal with a flare-up when you can adjust how your shoes fit to accommodate different stages of your arthritis.
As much of a statement as they might make, and as well as they may go with your outfit, high heels aren’t conducive to toe joint inflammation relief. With your heel elevated, your foot slides down and the pressure falls on your toes. Over time, this causes permanent damage to your toe joints and can speed up the progression of your arthritis.
Custom orthotics and other shoe inserts help distribute the pressure on the soles of your feet when you stand. The support of orthotics made just for you can remove pressure from painful areas like the joint at the base of your big toe.
Ready to find out more about how to manage your toe arthritis? Schedule an appointment over the phone or online at Francine Rhinehart, DPM, today.