Psoriatic Arthritis and Metatarsal Arch Issues
Psoriatic arthritis (PsA) can affect the metatarsal arch, causing sharp pain in the ball of the foot. This pain intensifies when walking barefoot or engaging in activities such as pivoting or running. If the pain persists for a few days, it is recommended to seek advice from a podiatrist who specializes in foot ailments.
Over time, a callous may form above the metatarsal arch as a protective response to cushion the joint. However, this callous can harden and worsen the pain in the arch. A podiatrist can alleviate this pain by using a scalpel to gently remove the callous, particularly beneficial when walking barefoot. It is important to note that individuals with diabetes should not attempt to remove callouses themselves due to the risk of exacerbating diabetic neuropathy.
In addition to callous removal, the podiatrist may suggest wearing an orthotic device in the shoe(s). The podiatrist will create a customized insole with extra padding at the ball of the foot, while removing a portion of the padding where the callous has developed. This provides support for the ball of the foot, relieving the point of pain. The podiatrist may also recommend using a crescent-shaped felt pad with adhesive to minimize the impact while walking.
Wearing an orthotic device may require purchasing wider shoes to accommodate the spread-out effect of the foot and allow for easy removal of the device to use with multiple pairs of shoes. Shoes with a deep toe box offer extra space for the device at the front of the foot.
Occasionally, a blood blister may develop below the callous. It is important to have this monitored by a podiatrist, who may drain the blister to facilitate healing. As time goes on, there may be a decrease in the amount of fat between the metatarsal arches and the skin, resulting in a more prominent appearance of the arch and bones.
With regular monitoring and callous removal by a podiatrist, issues with the metatarsal arch should not significantly impact your ability to maintain an active lifestyle without experiencing excessive pain. It is also encouraged to stay connected to others with PsA through support groups like our Facebook Support Group.