Treatment For Foot And Ankle Pain Caused By Arthritis

Although foot and ankle pain may be caused by a number of conditions, arthritis is one of the most common reasons. In fact, the American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society reports that almost half of the population in their 60s and 70s has arthritis in their feet and ankles. If you suffer from this condition, you don't need to lose hope. There are treatment options. Additionally, all patients are encouraged to take an active role in their health to keep inflammation and pain at bay, which will aid in the continuous enjoyment of your favorite activities. 

Physical Therapy

Individuals who have arthritis in their ankles would benefit from a foot and ankle doctor giving them a referral for physical therapy. Certain exercises and therapy techniques benefit this condition by strengthening the muscles, reducing the pain in the area naturally, and improving one's overall range of motion. 

Topical Analgesic

In cases where the arthritis is only mildly irritating, a topical analgesic may be all you need. This type of pain reliever can be rubbed into the skin over the areas of the foot and ankle that are giving you trouble. The area then becomes numb and you experience some relief from the pain. WebMD says to look for a topical analgesic with one of the following ingredients: capsaicin, salicylates, eucalyptus oil, and camphor. 

Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Medications

Also referred to as NSAIDs, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are commonly prescribed as treatment for arthritis of the foot and ankle. These medications work to reduce inflammation and eliminate pain. While you can purchase this type of drug over-the-counter, arthritis suffers require a larger does that only a podiatrist or other licensed doctor can provide. 

Steroid Injections

Just like the oral nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications, steroid injects are designed to treat the inflammation that arises due to the arthritis by reducing swelling and diminishing stiffness. The podiatrist will prepare an injection with the steroids and insert it directly into the affected joints. Relief is often immediate, but can take a few days to begin working. 


The Arthritis Foundation recommends the use of elastic ankle braces to provide support for individuals who have been diagnosed with arthritis. This type of orthotic helps ease the stiffness of your joints, which results in less pain sensations when walking. The device also gives control where the movement of your feet are concerned so that you are less likely to injure the area.