Help - Foot Pain

McGinger Member Posts: 6
edited 29. Oct 2019, 06:59 in Living with arthritis
Hi All,

I joined this forum a while go and have been reading but I'm looking for some advice.

I have undifferentiated inflammatory arthritis, which is being treated much like RA.

To give some context my condition was diagnosed and initially treated privately. My health insurance provider decided they wouldn't continue to pay for this long term so my private consultant referred me to the NHS and discharged me. This referral is being treated as a normal referral and I have been on a waiting list to be seen by the NHS consultant. My appointment with them finally came through and it is not until next month. There is a Rheumatology Nurse function in my local area, but I can't access their help or advice until I have been seen by the consultant and am then considered on their list.

For the past few weeks I have been really suffering with pain in my left foot, in the joints between my toes and foot and swelling/tenderness on the top of the foot. Its causing me to limp quite badly, which in turn is causing me pain in my knees/hips etc, its really limiting my footwear choices too! :lol:

Its pretty normal for me to have a joint flare up that lasts maybe a week, but this is now week 3 of this and it doesn't feel like it is going anywhere, I'm finding it quite debilitating (I was off work on holiday last week and barely left the house because it was so painful)

So here is my problem as I cant access the specialist on the NHS or my private health care would there be any point in making a Drs appointment? My husband has been nagging me to go see a Dr about it, but I just feel that there is very little they would be able to do to help. I already take a concoction of medication (Including methotrexate, Etodolac and Hydroxechloriquine among others) Paracetamol doesn't do anything for it, when I am at home I am sitting with my foot elevated, I am doing as little walking as is humanly possible (bare minimum of getting to and from the car into the house/work) I don't know if going to see the Dr would just be a waste of their time and I should just wait it out and see if it calms down?

I suppose its a what would you do?

If you read all this thank you! :D


  • [Deleted User]
    [Deleted User] Posts: 3,636
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi McGinger and welcome to the forum.
    That sounds like a really frustrating situation to be in.
    It's good that you are being seen by the NHS consultant next month, but obviously still difficult in the interim.
    I have inflammatory arthritis too, which affects different joints to yours, but sounds quite similar in terms of the flare-ups. I'm inclined to agree with your instinct that there isn't much a GP could offer you, given your future hospital appointment and the medication you are already on. Perhaps there's an argument for seeing your GP so that your current flare-up will be on your records. You might be able to ask your GP for a referral to a pain clinic, for help managing the pain. Some of our other forum members may have their own thoughts and experiences to share which may help you come to a decision.

    Here's a link to the information on foot and ankle pain on the Versus Arthritis website, just in case there's anything you don't already know which may help:

    Best wishes for your future appointment and comfort in the meantime. Do let us know how you get on.

  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,520
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hello, I too have foot pain so can empathise with you. I have PsA in all my toes and OA in both ankles and am working on developing my hovering techniques. That's not going well. :|

    There is no point in some ways of seeing the GP because they do not deal with auto-immune arthritis or its medications but it may be worth it to explore further pain relief options. Paracetamol has as much dulling effect on pain as trying to set a jelly in full sun, at least co-codamol moves the jelly into a warm fridge. Meth and hydroxy is a common DMARD combo (I can't remember what etodolac is) but it sounds to me that, despite the meds, you are flaring and flares can last for weeks and months rather than just days. You need to see the rheumatologist, I always made it clear that I could take a cancellation appointment but I live five minutes from the hospital and, when working, was self-employed so it was an easy option.

    What would I do? I would see the GP to discuss pain relief and I hope things ease soon. DD
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,309
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Flares are nasty things and feet are very complex things containing some 20+ joints so a flare affecting a foot, on which all our weight is supported, is pretty horrible. I've never actually had what I see as a flare that didn't last weeks or months until I got my meds reviewed and tweaked. That won't happen for you until next month so it's a matter of damage limitation in the interim.

    Firstly shoes. Wear strong, supporting ones. Trainers are usually good.

    Secondly, exercises. Try some of these

    Thirdly, GPs Or, should that be 'husbands'? Mine is still of the view that, if something is wrong we go to the doc and (s)he makes it better :roll: Yeah. Right. Your GP can't do anything about the DMARDS (meth and hydroxy) but could alter others. I think etodolac is an NSAID and there are others. A 'concoction' of meds is not usually great as they can interact so make sure your GP knows exactly what you are taking especially if some are just over-the-counter ones. There are stronger painkillers than paracetamol and, to my astonishment, I discovered last year, in hospital, in the worst pain of my life, that paracetamol can actually help much stronger pain relief to work better – or, in my case, at all :lol: So your GP might well be able to help with the pain.

    So, in your shoes (pardon the pun :wink: ) I'd definitely see the doc but I'd first ensure the right shoes and the exercises. And I hope these things ease it somewhat.
  • McGinger
    McGinger Member Posts: 6
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Thanks everyone.

    I have made a Drs appointment today, see if there is anything they can do, even if they could get me a cancellation for the specialist I would take it.

    I cant take co-codamol as it makes me completely loopy, like do not operate even light machinery loopy! :D

    It felt a bit better on Saturday then on Sunday I could hardly get down the stairs.

    All the joint flares I have had in the past have been hands, wrists, elbows, shoulders and neck ones, which are kind of easier to deal with I think. I often have pain in my feet/toes but Ive never had anything as severe as this and I think its a bit harder to deal with when it effects your walking, also I cant hide it as well as I can hide a flare up elsewhere so everyone is asking what Ive done to myself, Im tempted to make up some crazy story to tell them! :D
  • Jackie47
    Jackie47 Member Posts: 108
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    In the short term I would definitely see my Dr and it’s the right move imo. A Dr can ring the dept and get you an earlier appointment if he/she thinks it’s in your best interest. Take advice from a Consultant. So no it’s not a waste of time far from it. Pleased you have an appointment. I’ve been going through an RA flare up starting last Friday. Happy days.
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,309
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I don't go for crazy stories. What's the point? Sooner or later the truth will out. Just tell them you have arthritis. If they say their great Granny had that and cured herself with essence of air mingled with orange blossom it's an opportunity to enlighten them.

    I hope the GP can help one way or another. Please let us know how you get on.