Arthritis in the Toes

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AlaninHemel
AlaninHemel Member Posts: 4
edited 19. Nov 2018, 10:45 in Say Hello Archive
Hi

I have just been diagnosed with arthritis in the toe joints in my right foot. This makes walking very painful. I have noticed that when I wear steel toe capped work boots for countryside volunteering my toes are less painful. I put this down to the rigid sole and lack of toe movement. When I mentioned this to my GP he said it was important for the toes to move and I should not use such footwear regularly. However if I wear cushioned trainers, where the toes bend, to walk any distance I am in agony at the end of the day.

I am thinking of changing my footwear to more rigid soles but I am put off by the GP's comments.

Any advice anyone?

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  • [Deleted User]
    [Deleted User] Posts: 3,635
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Hi
    and welcome to the forum. I am sorry to hear that you have been diagnosed with arthritis in your toes. Unfortunately as you say it can be very painful. We have some useful tips on footwear here https://www.arthritisresearchuk.org/arthritis-information/hints-and-tips/living-with-arthritis/clothing-and-personal-care/shoes.aspx
    It might also be worth discussing some painkillers with your GP that you could take them before exercise.
    I am sure other members on here will also be able to share their experience with you. Let us know how you get on
    Best Wishes
    Sharon
  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,520
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Hello, because I have yet to meet a doc who has arthritis I have always reckoned that GPs and rheumatology consultants are knowledgeable about the theory of arthritis but we are the ones who have to live with the reality. If you find that the steel-capped cause less distress to your toe then wear those for the more strenuous activities, then for the easier wear softer footwear. Joints still have to move no matter how painful they are, we still need to flex and exercise the muscles surrounding them to help them retain their strength and flexibility. This way they better support the joints.

    I am twenty-two years in with my arthritis, I have psoriatic arthritis (an auto-immune kind) and that has led in turn to osteoporosis, the most common. The PsA affects all my toes so I am familiar with hurty feet. OA is in my ankles and so it goes on. :lol: DD
    Have you got the despatches? No, I always walk like this. Eddie Braben
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,731
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Hi and welcome from me too.

    In a sense, both yo and your GP are right. Immobilising the toes will stop them hurting so much but it will also mean that the muscles around them don't have to do any work. It's a case of 'use it or lose it' with muscles and, if we don't use them, we do pay. Strong muscles support joints and help them to stay where they should be, doing what they should do. Weak muscles don't and so the joints deteriorate much more quickly and become much more painful.

    It's always tempting to do whatever eases the pain but that's not really a solution for us. What physiotherapists usually suggest in such situations is to support / immobilise the joint(s) when essential but only for relatively short periods, not for most of the time.

    I've followed Sharon's link. I don't know how useful or not you'll find the comments on shoes themselves but there are some very good ones on insoles. I hope some might help.
    If at first you don't succeed, then skydiving definitely isn't for you.
    Steven Wright
  • AlaninHemel
    AlaninHemel Member Posts: 4
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Thanks for all the suggestions.
    I have bought a number of insoles and wear them in all footwear, including slippers. They have helped reduce the sharp pain but the discomfort is still present.
    I am coming to the conclusion that for footwear I need to mix it about. Use flexible footwear for short walks to keep the toes moving but stiffer footwear for long walks and countryside volunteering. This should give me the balance needed.
    A friend suggested drinking Nettle Tea would help so I am giving that a go. Early days and not my favorite beverage but I will persevere.
    I notice in the weekend papers there are a number of miracle cures for joint pain, usually at a price. I view this as the modern version of Snake Oil but would welcome any recommendations if they have worked for anyone.
  • Airwave!
    Airwave! Member Posts: 2,468
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    You need a referral to the podiatrist in the hospital, they can supply carbon inserts for support. A removable insole is helpful, supportive and well cushioned shoes such as walking shoes are best, byt then they will talk you through the options.

    The inserts still bend, just not as much.
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,731
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Definitely snake oil. If they weren't we wouldn't be here. We'd have legged it, in a very non-arthritic manner :wink: years ago. Frankly, I'd put nettle tea in the same category but, as my old Mum used to say - if it does you no good, it'll do you no harm.

    I think your plan, re mixing it up with shoes is a good one. It might still be worth asking your GP to refer you to an orthotist for some custom made insoles.

    Slippers aren't good for feet as they son't give support at all. Maybe some comfy trainers for indoors?
    If at first you don't succeed, then skydiving definitely isn't for you.
    Steven Wright
  • daffy2
    daffy2 Member Posts: 1,636
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Re nettle tea this might be of interest
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23195396
    as I suspect it's being used as the basis of some of the hype around nettle tea and arthritis, and also illustrates the need to be aware of interactions between 'natural' remedies, and drugs.
    In herbal medicine it has long been used for among other things joint and muscle pain, and inflammation, and the new growth was traditionally a spring tonic, partly because it provided greens at a time of year when such things were scarce.
  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,520
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    The herbal remedies that have some benefit are used in modern medicine, those that don't are peddled by those who are happy to use the misfortunes of others to line their pockets. Arthritis of any kind has no cure but for those who have only OA in one suitable area for joint replacement it can be mendable. The majority of people on this forum do not fit that category, those who do then have the operation disappear. DD
    Have you got the despatches? No, I always walk like this. Eddie Braben
  • AlaninHemel
    AlaninHemel Member Posts: 4
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Thanks for all the suggestions. The discomfort is improving but it is difficult to attribute that to one measure.

    I saw Flexiseq advertised and decided to give it a go. It is discounted at Boots currently.

    https://flexiseq.com/?gclid=EAIaIQobChMIvavwsdnd3gIVBZPtCh2ksQ-jEAAYASAAEgKgrfD_BwE

    Again I am feeling an improvement but whether that is down to the Flexisec, Nettle Tea or improved footwear I am not sure. Never the less to be able to go to be at night without throbbing toes is a relief. Long may that continue.
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,731
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    I'll second that.

    If it were me I'd continue for a while with everything then try cutting out first one thing then another though I'd stick with the shoes regardless.
    If at first you don't succeed, then skydiving definitely isn't for you.
    Steven Wright