Tendons and Psoriatic Arthritis
I'm embarrassed to admit, it took me a long time to learn that psoriatic arthritis was not limited to just joints. My eureka moment was when I attended a talk about psoriatic arthritis and a doctor was explaining how it also affects the body's tendons.
What is the connection between tendons and inflammation?
Typically I expected that stiff joints and range of motion to be less than normal. But sore feet? You guys, I did not see this one coming at all. The doctor explained that often there is soreness where the ligaments and tendons join to your bone. This area can swell and become really painful and sometimes if you are lucky, only mildly uncomfortable.
The painful foot
Have you ever looked at an image of the ligaments and tendons under your foot? If you have not, do yourself a favor and check it out. There is so much going on in there, nerves, muscles tendons, ligaments, bones and so much more. For such a small body part it sure is complex.
My feet can be painful and give me issues, specifically at the base of my big toes. It is a huge hot spot for me, especially if I have been training very hard. A flare will come along here and make life really uncomfortable. Although I am lucky and it usually passes within a few days.
Being accustomed to having invisible pain, you can imagine my surprise when I flipped up my sore foot and there was actually something to look at. At first, I thought a bee had stung me or maybe I had hurt it and not noticed.
I searched in vain for a wound or bite or something. I found nothing. However, there was a bright red sore swollen red ball under my foot. Putting it down to “who knows what happened there”, I at least made sure it was clean. I took some anti-inflammatory meds and rested it up till the next day.
Woke up and it was worse. I could hardly walk. It was excruciating. It was burning and paining and almost itchy on the surface. Touching it is deeply painful yet relieving at that moment.
How to relieve this flare
A trip to my lovely doctor and he confirmed it was inflammation. Importantly, we later confirmed that it was part of the effects of psoriatic arthritis. Giving it a name and a connection is always helpful.
This gives me a way to treat it and just get through the flare. These are my go-to items when this comes around.
- Ice packs
- Anti-inflammatory medication
- Anti-inflammatory gel, cream or plaster
- Sleeping with the foot raised up
- Raising the sore foot on a footstool under my desk
Also, just a side note, good shoes are vitally important to helping these types of flares. Always keep a close eye on it and if you have any concerns chat to your doctor.
Do you have a sleep disorder (eg. insomnia, sleep apnea, RLS) in addition to your PsA?