If you have psoriasis, a common skin disease characterized by scaley, red, and inflamed rashes, you have about a 1-in-3 chance of developing psoriatic arthritis (PsA). Psoriatic arthritis, like psoriasis, is a chronic inflammatory disease. Psoriatic arthritis affects the joints where your tendons and ligaments connect to bone, causing pain, tenderness, stiffness, and swelling.
Because each foot has 30 joints and 26 bones, your feet and ankles are among the most common areas impacted by PsA.
At Optima Foot and Ankle of Bend, Oregon, Laura Schweger and Dr. Evan M. Ross have extensive experience in helping patients manage this disease and relieve painful symptoms. Here, they give an overview of PsAand how it is treated.
Understanding psoriatic arthritis foot pain
While PsA usually affects people with psoriasis, that’s not always the case. Some people develop PsA first, and some patients with PsAnever get psoriasis.
Most people with PsA experience joint stiffness, pain, and swelling that flare, then periodically subside. It’s essential to maintain your treatment throughout both phases. Doing so can prevent the condition from progressing.
Foot-related signs of PsAinclude:
- “Sausage digits” (or dactylitis)
- Achilles tendinitis
- Plantar fasciitis
- Foot deformities, such as bending and shortening of the toes, making them look like claws
- Limited range of motion
- Toenail changes (tiny dents, pitting, separation or lifting from the toe)
- Swelling in the ball of the foot
Managing psoriatic arthritis foot pain
Psoroaitc arthritis is not curable, but Drs. Schweger and Ross manage your symptoms and alleviate pain. Treatment may involve one or more of the following:
- Anti-inflammatory medications and immunosuppressants
- Custom orthotics to ease foot pressure
- Applying heat or cold to reduce inflammation and swelling
- Cortisone injections
- Physical therapy
Lifestyle changes may also be recommended, such as:
- Maintaining a healthy weight
- Exercises and stretches to keep muscles strong and joints flexible
- Soaking feet for short periods with Epsom salts
- Limiting alcohol use and quitting smoking
- Eating anti-inflammatory foods, like fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids, green tea, and fiber-rich foods
- Avoiding foods that can trigger inflammation, like processed meats, sugar, alcohol, white bread and rice, and fried foods
- Resting your feet
Left untreated, PsA can cause complications, including permanent joint damage. So starting treatment is crucial. For help with PsA and all of your foot care needs, call 541-383-3668 or request an appointment online with Optima Foot and Ankle today.