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Arthritis and Feet: Exclusive Interview with Podiatrist Jayne Wilson

Next time you wrap your fingers around a coffee mug, pick up a shopping bag or even slip on a pair of shoes thank your wonderful feet and hands! Simple things like this can be difficult for some with arthritis.

What is Arthritis?

Arthritis causes joint inflammation and pain. It happens when the immune system doesn’t work properly and attacks the lining of the joints. Reducing your ability to do day-to-day things. 

What are the symptoms of Arthritis?

Symptoms usually begin with throbbing and aching pains.

  • Joint pain.
  • Swelling or stiffness, especially in the morning.
  • Redness, joints can become hot and tender to touch.
  • Reduced ability to move and walk.

We caught up with Jayne Wilson, Regional Clinic Manager for Shuropody and registered HCPC Podiatrist. Jayne suffers from osteoarthritis in her hands and feet (there are many different types of arthritic conditions). Find out how Jayne copes with her condition and tips on managing it! 

How does arthritis effect your every-day life? 

It causes fatigue and aching in my joints and muscles. It makes simple every-day tasks like opening a bottle of water or putting on a pair of shoes more difficult. 

What is it like putting on shoes when you have arthritis? 

Bending to put on shoes becomes more difficult and pain in the hand makes it harder to tie shoe laces. 

If someone watching this, thinks they may have arthritis, what is the best pathway to get diagnosis and treatment? 

If your Podiatrist or foot health practitioner suspects arthritis, they will refer you to your GP - who will then diagnose your condition and prescribe medication or refer you on to a specialist. 

Can you share with us some tips for managing arthritis in the feet?

  • Pay attention to your footwear (velcro fastenings and elastic shoe laces will help).
  • Use a sock aid for putting on socks and a shoe horn for putting on shoes.
  • If you have hard skin (due to abnormal pressure) have it assessed and treated by a podiatrist or foot health practitioner.
  • When you are in pain, remember RICE (rest, ice, compression and elevation).
  • Stretching and strengthening exercises for the muscles that support the joints. 

What kind of shoes would you recommend to someone suffering with arthritis?

We have many shoes that would be suitable and are listed in the healthy footwear guide. Such as, Joya, Freedom Fit, Hotter, Strive etc. 

You need to ensure that the shoes are the right fit. They need to be deep and wide enough to make sure they don't rub. Heel height should not be more than 4cms. You can visit one of our Shuropody stores to get your feet measured. 

How are orthotics/insoles beneficial for someone with arthritis?

Orthotics are in shoe devices and work by realigning the feet, to prevent abnormal pressure. This can help with the reduction in pain by cushioning and supporting the feet. There are various types and it is always best to be assessed for the best orthotic to suit you. 

How can a podiatrist help with arthritis in the feet?

  • Arch support
  • Orthotics that support your ankle and foot
  • Custom fitted footwear
  • Podiatry care for corns and callous that may develop due to painful joints.

Head down to your nearest Shuropody store for a foot assessment by one of our footcare experts. You can request an appointment HERE.

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