Suffering From Psoriatic Arthritis And Heel Pain? The Two Are Probably Related
Psoriatic arthritis is a painful and debilitating condition that combines inflammation of the skin with inflammation of the joints. But many patients are unaware that it can also affect their feet as well, leaving them with heel pain that makes walking and standing virtually unbearable. If you suffer from psoriatic arthritis, here is some information you need to know about foot care during flares.
Plantar fasciitis is the medical term for your heel pain.
Psoriatic arthritis is a disorder of the connective tissue in your body, which helps support your bones and connect parts of your body together. There's a thick band of this connective tissue that runs along the bottom of your foot known as the plantar fascia, which can become inflamed during flares of psoriatic arthritis. Approximately 30% of psoriatic arthritis patients experience this particular problem.
The most common symptoms include heel pain that's worse in the morning or after a period of time when you're off your feet. The first few steps you take can actually be excruciatingly painful, though it tends to decrease from there unless you are standing still. The pain can flare again toward evening, especially if you've been on your feet.
There are several things you can do to treat your heel pain at home.
If you want to try to treat the condition at home, there are several things you can try:
- Stop any activity that's likely to aggravate the condition, including any walking, running, aerobics, or other exercise activities that keep you on your feet.
- If you don't work a desk job, you may have to ask for reasonable seating accommodations from your employer during flares—see if you can be assigned to a stationary position temporarily where you can stay off your feet.
- Some patients find relief by rolling their feet over frozen water bottles, not only icing down the inflamed area but giving it a quick massage.
- Change your footwear—skip any heels for now and look for shoes that are sturdy with a thick, cushioned sole.
You may need to see a foot and ankle specialist for a consultation.
Your rheumatologist treats the underlying condition, psoriatic arthritis, that's causing your symptoms, but you may need a foot and ankle specialist to help with the plantar fasciitis that's so common to the disease. One common treatment used by specialists to treat plantar fasciitis is corticosteroid injections, like prednisone. These injections can actually reduce the inflammation in the injected area for months at a time, which can definitely make your life easier if you're struggling through repeated flares.
If all else fails, your specialist may recommend surgical intervention. The plantar fascia can be cut in order to relieve the pulling and pressure that's causing your pain. This is generally considered a measure to take when all other treatments have failed and the pain has become unbearable, so you don't have to worry about the idea of surgery right away.
For more help treating any foot pain that you're suffering due to your psoriatic arthritis, contact a specialist in your area as soon as possible.