There are 33 joints in the foot, which could be hurting due to osteoarthritis. What are the symptoms of the health condition? And how can pain be best managed? The charity Versus Arthritis noted that an achy feeling in your feet at night could be indicative of the condition. In particular, osteoarthritis has three common symptoms, and these are: pain and swelling in the affected joints; stiffness, especially if you haven’t moved for a while; and joints looking bigger than normal.
Some people with osteoarthritis can hear grating or crunching nosies when moving their feet and ankles.
A person with the health condition may also feel unsteady while standing on their own two feet.
What’s a joint?
A joint is a part of the body where two or more bones meet, which normally goes through a cycle of damage and repair within a lifetime.
When the repair process changes the shape or structure of the joint, it’s known as osteoarthritis.
This causes damage to the cartilage – a tough, yet slippery surface that cushions the end of the bones.
READ MORE: Arthritis: Four effective remedies to reduce joint pain and inflammation
Should you suspect osteoarthritis, Versus Arthritis recommends visiting your GP to discuss your concerns.
Although it may seem counterintuitive, exercising can improve osteoarthritis by “nourishing the cartilage of your joints”.
To help with the painful symptoms of the condition it may be beneficial to take paracetamol before beginning to exercise.
Three types of activities are strongly encouraged to manage osteoarthritis:
- Stretching – to help maintain and improve range of movement in the joints
- Strengthening – to help keep muscles and joints strong and supported
- Aerobic fitness – activity that increases your heart rate
As feet swell in the afternoon, it’s best to try on new shoes during the day to see if they fit well.
Avoid flip-flops and ballet shoes that don’t provide support, instead opting for thick, cushioned soles.
Go for shoes with a wide front, meaning your toes can spread out as you walk, and a low heel.
Feet can change size too, so do measure your feet to make sure you’re ordering the correct fit.