Lupus Foot Pain Relief in Wisconsin
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Autoimmune diseases are disorders causing abnormal activity of the immune system. An overactive immune system can cause pain in the feet, toes and ankles.
Lupus is one of the most common autoimmune diseases along with rheumatoid arthritis and type 1 diabetes. Raynaud’s disease and Graves’ disease are other autoimmune disorders known to cause foot pain.
How Lupus Causes Foot and Ankle Pain
The autoimmune disease lupus (systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE)) causes the immune system to attack healthy areas of the body. A frequent symptom for sufferers is joint inflammation, including in the feet and ankles (edema).
Like other autoimmune diseases, lupus is far more common in women (around 80% of lupus sufferer are female). Lupus is also more common in African-Americans, Hispanics, and Asians.
Patients with lupus can experience swelling and pain in their feet and ankles as a side effect of the disease. “Lupus foot” in particular is a deformity of toes and joints which can lead to pain when walking. Excess fluid from kidney failure can lead to more swelling in the lower extremities. While there are many treatment options for the disease, the podiatrists of Advanced Foot and Ankle of Wisconsin specifically help lupus patients deal with their foot and ankle pain.
Lupus Heel and Ankle Pain Causes
Lupus can cause several unique symptoms in the feet and ankles. Up to a third of people with lupus suffer from lupus-related Raynaud’s, a vascular condition triggered by cold or stress. Raynaud’s phenomenon can cause feet to turn blue from cold temperatures. While this can cause discomfort, it is usually not painful. Arthritis in the feet is common as well. Other foot-related lupus symptoms include:
- Hallux valgus (bunions)
- Hammer toes
- Circulatory problems
- Nail problems
For some patients, feet swelling can lead to limited mobility. Edema can also make wearing narrow or high-heeled shoes impossible without causing extreme pain.
Additional non-foot lupus symptoms to look for:
- “Butterfly” rash on the face
- Red rash on body
- Chronic pain
- Rheumatoid arthritis (“rhupus”)
- Headache and migraine
Lupus Foot Treatment Options
Advanced Foot and Ankle of Wisconsin believes in putting the “care” back into patient care. Lupus is a notoriously difficult disease to diagnose and treat. Many patients go through misdiagnosis and unnecessary pain before getting the right treatment. Our podiatrists offer professional consulting in order to find the most effective way to reduce your foot-related lupus symptoms.
Custom orthotics can relieve some of the pain from swollen joints and make it easier to walk. These inserts can be added into almost any shoe to provide regular relief. Toe splints and straighteners can be used for the treatment of bunions.
How to Treat Swollen Feet from Lupus
- Elevate your feet – This simple solution uses gravity to keep fluids which cause swelling away from your feet.
- Buy new shoes with a wider fit – This can reduce the extra pressure placed on your already swollen feet.
- Change your diet – Avoid excess salt since this can lead to more fluid retention. Eat foods high in potassium to combat sodium levels in the body.
- Pamper your feet – Massages and warm baths can reduce the pain in your afflicted joints.
- Wear compression socks or support pantyhose – If you have to stay on your feet, compression socks and support pantyhose will help keep up circulation in your feet.
- Exercise – This is a two-fold solution: a good workout can lead to sweating out excess water in your system and increased circulation. Try water-based exercises or yoga to start.
If these at-home remedies do not work, it is time to contact Advanced Foot and Ankle of Wisconsin.
Prevent a Lupus Flare Up
Many of the foot-related symptoms of lupus occur during flare-ups. Avoiding certain triggers may make it easier to manage your lupus:
- Getting enough sleep – Being tired can cause symptoms to appear
- Handling stress – Find a way to relax after a stressful day to reduce the chances of a flare-up
- Covering your skin and using sunscreen when going outside – Some patients will experience symptoms after exposure to sunlight
Affordable Financing for Lupus Foot Treatment
Advanced Foot and Ankle has partnered with Parasail to help our patients find payment plans for their treatment. Apply today to create your payment plan.
We have 5 conveniently located podiatry clinics in southeast Wisconsin and work with 10 local hospitals. Find the clinic locations closest to you for your appointment.