Managing the Foot Pain of Psoriatic Arthritis
Psoriatic arthritis comes with its own set of diverse symptoms, potentially including fatigue, pain, psoriasis, nail changes, and more. PsA is characterized by inflammation throughout the body. This often leads to joint pain, swelling, and stiffness, especially in the feet.
Tips for managing foot pain
To learn more about how psoriatic arthritis affects your feet and how you handle this symptom, we asked for feedback from our Facebook community.
We posted: “PsA can cause a variety of problems in the feet, including pain and swelling in the toes, ankles, heels, and soles. Comment with personal tips on managing foot pain.”
The majority of you responded that you suffer from foot swelling. Some of you even shared that the swelling is so bad that you have gone up a size in shoes. A variety of other solutions for managing foot pain were shared, and here is what you had to say.
Compression can help!
Whether the cause of your pain is foot swelling or plantar fasciitis, many of you said that compression socks provide relief. Ankle wraps also help some of you with pain.
That is because compression clothing helps reduce inflammation, which is part of what causes the pain and swelling you might be experiencing. Compression gear can also help reduce flare-ups. Many people with psoriatic arthritis find physical comfort from compression clothing, so it might be worth trying if you have not already.
“Have been wearing ankle wraps the last few months (from Amazon). Thought I would give them a try because of so much pain and weakness. They have helped a lot. They decrease pain and give wonderful support.”
“I have plantar fasciitis of the ankle and heel, and compression socks work for me.”
Do you use compression gear for your PsA symptoms?
Finding the right solemate
For many in the community, finding the right shoes, insoles, or orthotics was a game-changer. Foot pain can make every moment of the day difficult, especially if you are active. Finding shoes with adequate cushion or support can provide relief so you can go back to focusing on something else.
“Supportive shoes help.”
“I find orthotics and proper footwear help some.”
The power of Epsom salts
Epsom salts are known to help reduce swelling, so it makes sense that many in the community use them to help with foot pain. A hot salt water bath can feel soothing, and the magnesium found in Epsom salts helps relax muscles and relieve pain.
“I soak my feet in a warm Epsom salt water bath.”
“Hot bath soak with Epsom and bath salts.”
Streching is important
Of all the solutions shared, stretching requires the most effort. However, it does not cost a thing! Many stretches can bring quick relief to the Achilles’ tendon or the plantar fascia (the tissue supporting the bottom of the foot arch). Your doctor or podiatrist can recommend stretches, or you may be able to find suggestions online.
“I do all types of stretches for tendons with bands.”
Putting one foot in front of the other
Each foot contains 26 bones and 33 joints that are controlled by a number of muscles, tendons, and ligaments. Inflammation from psoriatic arthritis can occur in any one of those spots. Coping with this pain is not easy.
Thank you to everyone who participated in this story. We appreciate all of your suggestions!
Do you have a sleep disorder (eg. insomnia, sleep apnea, RLS) in addition to your PsA?