Free Shipping over $40.

27th February 2023

Arthritis in Feet: When Is It Not Just General Foot Pain

Dr. Jill Barat, PharmD
Arthritis in Feet: When Is It Not Just General Foot Pain

Arthritis is a painful inflammatory condition that can occur anywhere you have joints, including the small joints found in your feet and ankles.

Arthritis in your feet is a long-term condition with no known cure, but there are ways that you can reduce the pain or inflammation associated with the problem to help improve your quality of life.

The ultimate diagnosis for arthritis in the feet or ankles will need to come from a doctor as they may need to order tests such as x-rays, other imaging tests, or blood tests to properly diagnose the condition.

What does arthritis in the feet feel like?

Arthritis in the feet can come from rheumatoid arthritis, which is an autoimmune inflammatory condition that causes the joint lining to become inflamed and swollen, or from osteoarthritis, which is a wearing down of the cartilage between bones over time or with an injury.

Arthritis in the feet can feel like:

  • Pain that worsens with motion
  • Pain that worsens with vigorous activity
  • Tenderness when applying pressure to the joint
  • Swelling, warmth, or redness around a joint
  • Pain that increases in the morning or after resting
  • Difficulty walking due to the symptoms

What causes arthritis in the feet?


This is the most common form of arthritis, and this normally occurs from the progressive wear-and-tear of the cushioning cartilage of the joint over time.

Injury to a specific joint may also cause prolonged inflammation and damage that may eventually lead to osteoarthritis in the area.

Rheumatoid Arthritis:

Also known as RA, is an autoimmune condition where the body starts attacking the synovial lining of the joints, leading to pain, swelling, and inflammation of the area.

RA might be hereditary and may occur more commonly if you have a lot of people in your family that have the condition, as genes may play a part in getting this disease, there may also be an environmental or chemical trigger that causes a flare-up of hereditary RA.

Feet arthritis treatments

1. Over the counter options:


Oral anti-inflammatory medications available at most grocery stores and pharmacies including Ibuprofen or Naproxen. 

Speak with your doctor before starting on any over-the-counter medications to make sure they are a good option for you.

Counter-irritant creams:

Over-the-counter creams or ointments which contain capsaicin or menthol to give the area a tingling or cooling sensation which may help lessen the pain sensation temporarily.

2. Prescription medications:

Prescription NSAIDs:

oral anti-inflammatory medications that are stronger than over-the-counter medications.

Steroid injections or tablets:

short-term use for severe joint pain.


Disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs like Methotrexate or Hydroxychloroquine to help prevent your immune system from attacking your joints.

Prescription pain medications:

Taken by mouth for severe pain.

Biologic medications:

Examples are etanercept and infliximab to help reduce inflammation and improper immune response.

Prescription Arthritis Pain Creams:

These combine a mixture of anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving medications that can go through the skin to help reduce symptoms locally.

3. Surgery:

In severe situations, your doctor may recommend that you have surgery to help remove excess debris and tissue from around the joint, fuse bones together to prevent additional pain from movement or even suggest a full ankle replacement.

What are some home remedies for foot arthritis?

Once you have been diagnosed with arthritis, your doctor will likely start you on one or more of the prescription or over-the-counter medications listed above.

But, for some additional measures to help reduce pain and inflammation at home, you can try some of the following home remedies:

  • Rest, ice, compress, and elevate the feet
  • Soak your feet in a warm water bath
  • Find cushioned or orthopedic insoles to help cushion the sensitive areas of your feet while walking
  • Foot braces and canes to help reduce pain and pressure while walking
  • At-home pain-relieving stretches
  • Weight control to help reduce extra pressure on your feet

Foot support supplements from Zen Nutrients

Here at Zen Nutrients, we carry pharmacist and physician-formulated supplement formulas that may help support general foot health.* 

You can purchase or learn more about our foot-focused supplement PodiVite today.*



*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.