What Is Rheumatoid Arthritis in the Feet?

Rheumatoid arthritis treatments can be extremely beneficial for many people through different stages of life. A painful and chronic condition, rheumatoid arthritis affects the joint lining tissue. More than 90% of people who have rheumatoid arthritis will develop symptoms in the feet and ankles. 

Luckily, there are quite a few treatment options for this form of arthritis. In this article, we will be going over the symptoms and rheumatoid arthritis treatments. Best Foot Doctor NY is the best podiatrist in Brooklyn for rheumatoid arthritis!

What Are Common Symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis in the Feet? 

Rheumatoid arthritis symptoms can vary. You may need to see a rheumatoid arthritis doctor if you notice any of the following symptoms: 

  • Pain and/or stiffness in toe joints or joints and ligaments along the foot
  • Swelling in one or more of the toe joints or ankles
  • Difficulty walking on uneven ground, grass, or gravel
  • Metatarsalgia
  • Abnormal warmth in one or various areas of the foot

Dealing with painful swelling and discomfort to the feet and ankles can decrease your quality of life. You may be unable to walk or stand for long periods, which can be especially draining for those with an active lifestyle. If you are dealing with symptoms such as those mentioned, but have not consulted with a medical professional, visit a rheumatoid arthritis doctor in your area. 

Treatment Options for Rheumatoid Arthritis in the Feet 

Rheumatoid arthritis symptoms in the feet can be painful, but fortunately there are treatment options. Though rheumatoid arthritis in itself cannot be cured, there are treatments to help alleviate pain and discomfort flare-ups. Some treatment options include: 

Lifestyle Changes

Some lifestyle tips to help bring relief to symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis in the feet include: 

  • Soaking feet in warm water or using warm compresses to combat inflammation 
  • The RICE method (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation)
  • Wearing open-toed shoes to keep feet from being too cramped 
  • Getting regular sleep (anywhere from 6 to 8 hours)
  • Refraining from exercising when having a flare-up 
  • Consuming nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications, like ibuprofen

Medications/Special Inserts

Medications and special inserts can also help alleviate discomfort and pain from rheumatoid arthritis symptoms. Speaking with a doctor for rheumatoid arthritis can help you think about treatments like:

  • Getting steroid injections directly in the joints can help ease inflammation
  • Prescription medications, such as disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs) can help bring relief for pain and inflammation 
  • Biologics are a subset of DMARDs that target specific proteins in the body and can target pathways to inflammation
  • Wearing orthotic inserts in your shoes to cushion the foot when you walk
  • Using an ankle brace to support the joints in the back of the foot and ankle, which can be useful for patients who still have not decided on surgery


Surgical treatment may be an option for patients who have severe cartilage damage or are not responding well to other non-surgical rheumatoid arthritis treatments. 

One of the most common types of surgery for rheumatoid arthritis is fusion surgery. This entails taking two bones that form a joint and fusing them together into one single bone. During surgery, the cartilage is removed and the two bones are held together with either screws or a combination of screws and plates. 

The goal of a fusion surgery is to limit joint motion. Depending on the joints fused, the result may or may not be felt by the patient. By limiting joint motion, there is a decrease in the presence of pain and stiffness. 

Are you a candidate for surgery to better pain symptoms from rheumatoid arthritis? Speak to an expert rheumatoid arthritis doctor to learn more. 

Looking for a Brooklyn Podiatrist for Rheumatoid Arthritis Treatments?  

Rheumatoid arthritis can develop gradually, most often in people between the ages of 40 and 60. Rheumatoid arthritis symptoms in the feet and ankles can lead to a decreased quality of life for many patients. While this form of arthritis is not curable, it is treatable. 

Arthritis treatment options include lifestyle changes, certain medications, and custom orthotics. For some patients, the most successful form of symptom alleviation may be surgery. Interested in diagnosing your rheumatoid arthritis or learning about treatments? Best Foot Doctor NY is a dedicated podiatrist team in Brooklyn. We are always ready to answer patient inquiries and provide thorough examination, diagnosing, and multiple treatment options. Contact us today to get started on scheduling your consultation!

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