EFFECTS OF PSORIATIC ARTHRITIS ON THE FEET

Psoriatic arthritis is a condition that causes inflammation of the joints which causes the joints to become painful, stiff and often swollen. Usually only people who have a skin disease called psoriasis are affected by psoriatic arthritis, however only one or two out of every ten people with psoriasis will develop this type of arthritis.

Symptoms you may be experiencing:

  • pain, swelling and stiffness in the joints of the feet and ankles (not very common)
  • pain in tendons at the back of the heel or the sole of the foot
  • changes in the toenails, such as pitting, thickening, discolouration or separation from the skin
  • symptoms may worsen or "flare up" at times and then settle down for a period of time
  • in severe cases, foot deformities can occur

Initial care - things to try at home:

  • apply a heat pack to sore feet to help relieve symptoms of stiff, painful joints
  • ensure that you wear comfortable, well-fitted shoes
  • maintain a healthy body weight to take pressure off your ankles and feet and prevent the condition from worsening
  • keep moving - gentle exercise, such as walking or water-based activities, is proven to assist in reducing pain

Our approach to solving your problem:

  1. Our Podiatrists will complete a thorough assessment of the foot and ankle including skin condition, foot shape, flexibility and tenderness to pressure.
  2. As part of this assessment, you may be referred off to get an X-ray, MRI or CT scan.  If you are not already seeing a rheumatologist, this may also be arranged for you via communication with your GP.
  3. We will assist you to make good footwear choices to compliment your changing foot shape and function
  4. By doing a biomechanical assessment, we will consider whether orthotic therapy may be beneficial for you to give you more arch support and structure for your feet.
  5. Providing skin and nail care may be necessary if your movement and flexibility is effected by your arthritis, rendering you unable to reach your feet to cut your own nails.
  6. It may benefit you to use massage as part of your pain management program, in which case, our Podiatrists would refer you to one of our experienced soft tissue therapists.
  7. We will ensure that we communicate thoroughly and consistently with your GP and any other health care professionals on your management team.

We will then create a management plan specific to you to:

  1. help settle the pain;
  2. address the causative factors;
  3. identify the biomechanical dysfunction;
  4. strengthen the related muscles around the joints;
  5. provide long-term solutions, where possible;
  6. liaise with other members of your health care team;
  7. keep you as active as possible, enjoying the activities that you love!

As a sufferer of arthritis, you may be eligible for a Chronic Disease Management plan which would entitle you to up to five bulk-billed podiatry appointments in a calendar year at our clinic.  If this is the case, your GP will arrange the paperwork to be sent to our clinic, usually via fax at 9894 0242.

If you would like help from one of our Podiatrists to manage your arthritis symptoms, give us a call on 9894 2463 or book online to make an appointment.