Many people who suffer from arthritis find it helpful to receive treatment from a podiatrist. If you have this condition, here are two ways in which this type of professional may be able to help you.
1. They can perform the foot care treatments that you are unable to carry out
Many of the most common forms of arthritis are progressive. This means that, as time passes, the joints in various parts of your body, including your hands, are likely to deteriorate and become increasingly painful, stiff and difficult to move. If your arthritis damages the joints in your knees and your hands, you may find it very difficult to take care of your feet.
Seemingly straightforward tasks such as cutting your toenails or applying moisturiser to your cracked heels, for example, are likely to become very challenging, as your arthritic knees will be too stiff to bend, and your gnarled, rigid fingers may not be able to grasp a pair of toenail clippers or a bottle of moisturiser. Your inability to perform these tasks could lead to the condition of your feet deteriorating. You may, for example, develop cellulitis if bacteria enter the cracked skin on your heels, and may develop painful ingrown toenails if your nails grow too long and begin to curve back into the skin.
This is why, if your arthritis has progressed to the point where it is now affecting your mobility and dexterity, you should find a local podiatrist and start visiting them regularly. They will be able to carry out the type of basic foot care that your arthritis prevents you from doing yourself. This will then help you to avoid painful or potentially dangerous foot problems, such as the aforementioned infections and ingrown toenails.
2. They can prevent your arthritis from causing calluses and corns
Arthritis can have a serious impact on the functionality of your feet. If it develops in one particular area (such as the ball of your foot, for instance), you may find yourself leaning more heavily on other areas, as placing any pressure on the arthritic part of the foot is too painful. This could lead to your bodyweight no longer being evenly distributed across each of your feet, which could, in turn, result in painful calluses and corns forming on the sections which are being subjected to greater amounts of pressure.
In this situation, receiving treatment from a podiatrist can be incredibly helpful. They can remove any existing corns or calluses that form on your feet and can make a pair of customised insoles that will able to prevent certain areas of your feet from being subjected to too much of your body weight (which should then help to stop any additional hard skin from forming in the future).