Several treatment options are available for foot pain caused by arthritis, including medications, supportive devices, exercise and surgery, according to WebMD. Certain patients also find some relief after losing weight.
Some patients with foot arthritis take pain relievers, says WebMD. Anti-inflammatory drugs help deal with swelling. In certain cases, steroids are injected directly into affected joints.
Pain is sometimes diminished when patients place pads, arch supports or orthotics in their shoes, WebMD recommends. Canes or braces that reinforce joints also help. Some custom shoes deal directly with the problem. However, when purchasing ready-made shoes, patients should look for footwear that is flexible, has rubber soles for cushioning, fits properly and supports the entire foot; slip-on shoes should be avoided.
Some patients seek assistance from physical therapists to strengthen the foot and enhance range of motion, states WebMD. In addition, home exercises, such as the Achilles stretch, big-toe stretch, toe pull and toe curl, increase flexibility and reduce pain. Surgery is useful in certain cases of osteoarthritis. Bones are sometimes fused together with rods, pins, screws or plates. Infrequently, the entire ankle joint is replaced with an artificial implant.
Symptoms of foot arthritis include pain, swelling and stiffness in joints, WebMD advises. The foot is sometimes unable to move properly or bear weight. A physician diagnoses arthritis through the patient's medical history, a physical exam, and X-rays, MRI imaging or CT scan.