If you live with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), you likely deal with foot pain often. Your feet are crucial to moving you around throughout your daily activities, so it’s hard to rest them or avoid using them on days when the pain is more intense. One way to help alleviate foot pain is to work with your doctor to take steps to get your RA under control. The better control you have over your condition, the less frequently you’ll have to deal with joint and foot pain. If you’re still struggling, here are some natural remedies that will help.
If you’ve packed on a few extra pounds, you’re certainly not alone. However, carrying excess weight is hard on your joints and feet which support you all day. Try eating a healthier diet and exercising more. Though often a struggle, weight loss is one of the most effective ways to curb RA pain.
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RA is a double-edged sword. The more you exercise, the less joint and foot pain you will have. Unfortunately, foot pain makes exercise difficult and makes it hard to get motivated. The solution is to find low impact exercises, like swimming or bicycling, that will keep you moving without aggravating your pain.
A podiatrist can help you find the right shoes and inserts to lessen foot pain. Unfortunately, some of these footwear options are less than attractive. You’ll need to shop carefully and be honest with yourself about what you will wear. It’s better to spend more on nicer shoes than to buy a pair you’ll never wear. Pay attention to the style, comfort, and fit of when buying orthotic shoes.
Mix It Up
Try to schedule your day in such a way that you alternate periods of standing and sitting. Too much time on your feet will aggravate your foot pain. Build some downtime and rest periods into your day. If your job requires a lot of standing, place a cushioned mat under your feet and take as many breaks as you can.
A Little pampering
A warm bath or foot soak goes a long way toward easing foot pain, so indulge often. Foot massages, too, can work wonders. You can massage your feet yourself or put your feet in the hands of a trained masseuse. Both will help you feel better and put your best foot forward.
Alter Your Diet
According to the Arthritis Foundation, certain foods help minimize RA flairs and pain. These foods are rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory agents. Increase your intake of fish, vegetables, and olive oil while avoiding processed and convenience foods. You’ll be pleasantly surprised by what a big difference this makes.
Practiced in Asia for centuries, acupuncture is the practice of inserting small needles
into the body at certain pressure points to relieve pain. Many people with RA find relief with this practice. Hate needles? Opt for acupressure instead. Acupressure applies pressure to the body without the aid of needles and works just as well for some patients.
Cigarette smoking causes more than cancer and lung diseases. It also makes the connective tissues in your body weaker. This makes the movement more difficult and stressful on the joints and increases RA pain. When you quit, you’ll have less foot pain and will feel better overall.
While there is nothing wrong with seeking medical intervention for your RA when you need help, consider trying these natural remedies to ease your foot pain first. They are all inexpensive, simple to try and don’t come with any of the unwanted side effects prescription medication can cause. Feel free to experiment with and mix and match these pain management strategies until you find the methods that work best for you.
Inflammation of the body and Arthritis
In attacking any problem, it helps to know the cause of the issue. Often times, when our body begins giving us signs of foot pain wear and tear, we only attack the wear and tear. The Arthritis Foundation explains that the source of arthritis is inflammation of the body, which causes break down of joints.
The human body naturally has an incredible capacity to heal itself, but sometimes our diets contain ingredients that hinder that process, contributing to cellular decay. Arthritis foot pain is the symptom of the advanced decay of the cartilage in our joints. The Arthritis Foundation cites some food ingredients that can increase this negative process.
1. Processed Sugar – Processed sugar encourages inflammation of the joints because of a chemical release of cytokines in your body. Different names for processed sugar include fructose, glucose, and sucrose.
2. Saturated Fats – Saturated fats also cause inflation because they are hard for your body to digest. They have an excess of hydrogen atoms that chemically take a long time to process. Saturated fats are usually solid at room temperature (butter, cheese, etc..)
3. Trans Fats – Trans fats can also cause problems. Fat, in general, are harder to break down. Our body needs some, preferably unsaturated fat (liquid) but having too much causes pain in the body. Sources of trans fat include cookies, crackers, fried food, donuts, and margarine.
4. Omega 6 Fatty Acids – Although Omega 6 fatty acids are necessary for a healthy diet, excess consumption of them can encourage inflammation. Balance it out with Omega 3 food sources. Sources of Omega 6 fatty acid include cooking oil, mayonnaise, salad dressing, and corn.
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5. Refined Carbohydrates – These are often cited as culprits not just in inflammation, but also obesity. Examples include white bread, rice, potatoes, and cereals.
6. MSG (Mono Sodium Glutamate) – This is a chemical flavor-enhancing additive often found in soup mixes, ramen packs, Asian food, restaurant dishes, and deli meat. It is a painful inflammation cause, and it can hurt our liver.
7. Gluten – Gluten is a sticky protein found in wheat, rye, and other grains. It can also cause inflammation, particularly if you have an allergy to it.
8. Casein – Casein is found in products made from whey protein. A good example is a cheese. It can cause inflammation as well.
9. Aspartame – Aspartame is also an inflammatory substance. It is a sugar-free alternative, but sadly, it causes pain to our brain. Our immune system reacts to it. It might be found in diet coke.
Now, after ridding our diet of these foot pain causes, how do we eat healthier in ways that soothe our body’s joints? You can think of your body as a giant bag of chemicals. If the bag gets too acidic, it starts to deteriorate. The solution is to eat non-acidic foods. What is some non-acidic or mild arthritis fighting foods?
1. Dandelion – Commonly considered a garden nuisance, dandelion actually is an excellent remedy. Why? It is bitter and therefore helps neutralize the acidic nature of the typical American diet, which begins to painfully dissolve our bones over time. You can eat any part of the plant you wish, but most people go for the leaves. Ancient Chinese used the Dandelion as a herbal medicine for stomach ache.
2. Cabbage – Cabbage is a great food because it has lots of Omega 3 fatty acid (which is usually something we do not get enough of) and it is bitter, so it will help neutralize excess acids in the body.
3. Beans – Instead of gorging ourselves on meat products, we should replace meat dishes with beans. Beans are less acidic than meats, and they give us that deliciously full feeling that some of the other healthy foods do not. High meat consumption is linked to gout, which can also be a contributing factor in arthritis.