Comprehensive Foot Care: Treating Arthritis, Bunions, Heel Spurs, and More

Experiencing foot problems, like Arthritis, Bunions, or Heel Spurs, can be tough.


These issues can make even basic tasks daunting. We get how important it is to find relief. Treating Arthritis, Bunions, Heel Spurs, and other foot conditions can make a world of difference to your day-to-day life.


Dealing with foot problems is a common struggle many of us face.


From arthritis affecting our feet and toes to the unexpected annoyance of sudden heel pain, finding the right treatment can feel overwhelming. You want to learn the ways to ease that pain under your foot arch or seek treatment for your arthritis in your feet.


Whether it’s bunion pain relief you’re after, guidance on heel spur treatment, or advice on ankle arthritis treatment, here are some tips to help you get what you need.




Arthritis is inflammation in joints causing discomfort and stiffness. In feet, arthritis can affect the toes, arches, and ankles. Different types, like osteoarthritis and rheumatoid, necessitate varied treatments.


Arthritis in feet treatment often targets a specific area, whether it’s pain under the foot arch or ankle arthritis treatment.


Psoriatic arthritis


Psoriatic arthritis is a condition that’s closely related to psoriasis, a long-term skin and nail issue. This type of arthritis can show up in different ways, often impacting the fingers and toes, and occasionally the spine.


The pain and inflammation arise due to the body’s immune response, leading to swollen, painful joints, and in severe cases, joint deformation.


Why is Psoriatic Arthritis Painful?


The discomfort and swelling come from the body’s defence mechanism, which results in sore, inflamed joints. In more intense situations, the joints might even change shape.




The real reason isn’t entirely clear, but things like the body’s defence system, family history, and outside factors seem to have an influence.


First-Aid / Home Remedy:


  • Turmeric: It’s known to help with swelling.
  • Epsom Salts Soak: It’s good for easing joint discomfort and swelling.
  • Fish Oil: It has omega-3s that help with swelling.
  • Ginger: It’s recognised for helping reduce swelling.
  • Physical Activity: Gentle exercises like swimming and yoga can help with tightness.




Gout is a form of inflammatory arthritis that predominantly affects the toes, ankles, and knees. This painful condition arises when the body produces excessive uric acid, leading to the formation of sharp crystals in the joints.

These crystals cause intense pain, inflammation, and discomfort.


But what causes this surge in uric acid? It’s primarily the breakdown of purines found in certain foods.


Why is Gout Painful?

  • The accumulation of uric acid crystals in the joints leads to irritation and inflammation.
  • These crystals can form growths known as tophi around affected joints.


  • Overproduction of uric acid.
  • Consumption of high-purine foods like bacon, turkey, and certain fishes.


First-Aid / Home Remedy:

  • Drink Plenty of Water: Helps in reducing swelling by flushing out excess fluids.
  • Apply Ice: Reduces inflammation in the affected area.
  • Elevate the Affected Joints: Assists in reducing swelling.
  • Limit Alcohol Intake: Especially beer, which is high in purines.
  • Balanced Diet: A diet rich in antioxidants can help reduce inflammation.


Hallux rigidus


Hallux rigidus, commonly known as the stiff big toe, is a form of degenerative arthritis affecting the joint at the base of the big toe.


This condition can be particularly painful due to the inflammation and swelling around the joint, making everyday activities like walking a challenge. The pain often intensifies during movement, especially when trying to bend the toe.


Why is Hallux Rigidus Painful?

  • Inflammation and swelling in the big toe joint.
  • Development of bone spurs or bumps on the top of the foot.
  • Restricted movement leading to stiffness.


  • Degenerative changes in the toe joint leading to arthritis.

First-Aid / Home Remedy:

  • Shoe Modifications: Opt for shoes with a wider toe box to reduce pressure.
  • Ice Application: To reduce swelling and alleviate pain.
  • Anti-inflammatory Medications: To manage pain and inflammation.

Rheumatoid arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a condition where the body’s defence system mistakenly goes after its own healthy cells, causing swelling in the joints.


This swelling, particularly in the feet and ankles, leads to soreness and often shows up on both sides of the body at the same time. But RA doesn’t stop at the joints; it can also affect parts like the heart, lungs, and eyes.


Why is Rheumatoid Arthritis Painful?

  • Swelling in various joints results in pain and puffiness.
  • Ongoing swelling might change the shape of the joints and harm the tissues.




  • RA happens when the body’s defence mechanism targets its own cells. While the exact reasons are still a mystery, family history and outside influences seem to be involved.


First-Aid / Home Remedy:

  • Warm and Cold Compress: Switching between the two can help ease the pain. Cold helps with swelling, and warmth eases muscle tension.
  • Turmeric: This common kitchen ingredient can help with swelling.
  • Meditation: Helps in centring oneself and lowering stress, which can make RA worse.
  • Staying Active: Gentle exercises like taking a stroll or swimming can help with feeling tight.



Osteoarthritis is a common joint issue, especially troubling the feet and ankles. It’s when the cushioning between our joints wears down, leading to bones grinding together. This can cause significant pain, notably in the feet, toes, and under the foot arch.


Why is Osteoarthritis Painful?


  • The breakdown of protective cartilage in joints results in pain and swelling.
  • Persistent inflammation can cause joint deformities and tissue damage.


  • Osteoarthritis often stems from aging, but injuries, genetics, and other factors can accelerate its onset.


First-Aid / Home Remedy:

  • Stay Active: Gentle exercises like walking, swimming, or yoga can alleviate stiffness.
  • Eat Right: Foods rich in omega-3s, like certain fish, and greens can help.
  • Weight Management: Having a healthy weight means less strain on your feet and ankles.


A bunion is a bony bump that forms on the joint at the base of your big toe. This happens when bones in the front part of your foot shift out of place, causing the tip of your big toe to be pulled towards the smaller toes.


Why Is A Bunion Painful?


This misalignment forces the joint at the base of your big toe to protrude.


The skin over this protrusion can become red and sore, leading to discomfort. Tight, narrow shoes can exacerbate this condition, but factors like heredity, foot deformities, and conditions like arthritis can also contribute.



  • Wearing ill-fitting shoes, especially those with a narrow toe box or high heels.
  • Inherited foot structure.
  • Foot injuries or stress.
  • Deformities present from birth.
  • Certain types of arthritis, especially inflammatory ones like rheumatoid arthritis.


First Aid / Home Remedy:

  • Change Your Footwear: Opt for shoes with a wider toe box and cushioning. Avoid high heels and narrow shoes.
  • Apply Ice: Helps in controlling swelling and provides pain relief. Use an ice pack for 20-minute intervals.
  • Protect the Part Where the Bunion Is: Use bunion gel pads or bunion sleeves to cushion the bunion and prevent it from rubbing against your shoe.
  • Use Bunion Splints: These are especially useful at night to keep the toes in proper alignment.
  • Toe Spacers: These cushioning materials placed between the big toe and the second toe can help in maintaining proper alignment.



Hammertoes is a deformity where a toe joint points upwards instead of lying flat. Those who have Bunions may also have Hammertoes.


Why Are Hammertoes Painful?


Hammertoes arise when foot or leg muscles weaken, causing the toe’s tendons to pull unusually. Over time, this can lead to the formation of painful corns or calluses on top of the affected toe. As the condition progresses, the toe may become immobile, causing discomfort and pain.




The primary cause of hammertoes is muscle imbalance in the foot or leg.


This imbalance can be exacerbated by wearing high heels or ill-fitting shoes. Over time, the tendons of the toe are pulled abnormally, leading to the deformity.


First Aid / Home Remedy:


  • Footwear Change: Opt for shoes with a soft, roomy toe box that’s half an inch longer than your longest toe. Sandals might also provide relief, provided they don’t cause friction elsewhere.
  • Toe Exercises: Engage in exercises to stretch and strengthen foot muscles. Gently stretch your toes manually or use them to pick items off the floor. “Towel curls” can also help restore muscle balance.
  • Over-the-counter Remedies: Use non medicated corn pads, straps, or cushions to alleviate pain. However, if you have conditions like diabetes, consult your doctor before self-treatment.
  • Avoid Bunion Aggravators: Since hammertoes and bunions can coexist, it’s essential to seek bunion pain relief. This includes avoiding ill-fitting shoes and considering bunion treatment without surgery.

Heel Spurs


A heel spur, also known as a bone spur, is a bony growth that extends from the bottom of the heel, connecting to the plantar fascia ligament.

Why Are Heel Spurs Painful?


The abnormal bony growth can lead to sudden heel pain, especially when pressure is applied. While heel spurs develop over time, many individuals remain unaware of their presence until they experience significant heel pain.




Heel spurs result from prolonged strain on the foot muscles and ligaments, especially the plantar fascia. This strain can be exacerbated by specific activities, walking patterns, or unsupportive footwear, leading to pain under the foot arch and the heel.


First Aid / Home Remedy:


  • Epsom Salt Soak: Dissolve a cup of Epsom salt in warm water and soak your feet for 20-30 minutes twice daily. The magnesium sulfate in Epsom salt helps reduce inflammation.
  • Flaxseed Oil Compress: Rich in alpha-linolenic acid, flaxseed oil combats inflammation. Soak a towel in warm flaxseed oil, wrap it around the heel, and place a heating pad over it for up to an hour.
  • Massage with a Tennis Ball or Foam Roller: Boost blood circulation and promote healing by rolling a tennis ball or foam roller under your foot.
  • Ice Pack Application: Apply an ice pack to the heel for 10-15 minutes multiple times a day to diminish inflammation and pain.
  • Over-the-counter Anti-inflammatories: Medications like acetaminophen and ibuprofen can help reduce inflammation and provide relief.


Achilles tendonitis

Achilles tendonitis is a condition where the tendon connecting the calf muscles to the heel becomes inflamed.


Why Is Achilles Tendonitis Painful?


This inflammation can cause sudden heel pain. The inflamed tendon is crucial for walking, running, and jumping. It can put a strain on the Achilles tendon and can cause significant pain under the foot arch and up into the calf.


The pain is more pronounced during the first few steps in the morning or after prolonged sitting.




Achilles tendonitis can result from overuse, especially in sports or activities that put repetitive strain on the tendon.


It’s common in runners and athletes but can affect anyone. Other factors include improper footwear, sudden increase in physical activity, and underlying medical conditions.


First Aid / Home Remedy:


  • Rest: Give your foot a break. Avoid activities that exacerbate the pain.
  • Ice Application: Apply ice or cold packs on the heel for about 15 minutes to reduce inflammation.
  • Compression: Use a snug elastic bandage or wrap to support the affected area.
  • Elevation: Keep your foot raised above heart level to minimise swelling.
  • Medication: Over-the-counter pain relievers can help manage pain and reduce inflammation.
  • Proper Footwear: Wear shoes with good arch support and cushioning.
  • Gentle Stretching: Stretching the calf muscles can provide relief, but avoid over-stretching if there’s a risk of tears.


A fracture refers to a break in the bones, ranging from minor fractures to severe shattering of the bones.


Why Is Foot Fracture Painful?


The foot, a complex structure with 26 bones, is particularly susceptible to fractures. When any of these bones break, it can lead to intense pain, swelling, and impaired mobility. The pain arises due to the damage to the bone and surrounding tissues, making even the slightest movement agonising.




Foot fractures can be caused by various factors. Direct blows or trauma, such as falls or accidents, often lead to acute fractures.


On the other hand, stress fractures, which are smaller hairline breaks, result from overuse or repetitive motion. Factors like unsupportive footwear, sudden increase in physical activity, or low bone density can also contribute to fractures.


First Aid / Home Remedy

  • Rest: Avoid putting weight on the injured foot.
  • Ice: Apply ice for 20 minutes every hour to reduce swelling.
  • Compression: Use a bandage to wrap the foot, but not too tightly.
  • Elevation: Keep the foot raised above heart level to minimise swelling.
  • Pain Relievers: Over-the-counter pain relievers can alleviate pain.
  • Seek Medical Attention: Always consult a podiatrist to get a proper diagnosis and treatment plan.

Morton’s Neuroma


Morton’s Neuroma is a condition characterised by the thickening of tissue around the nerves between the bases of the toes, typically between the third and fourth toes.


Why Is Morton’s Neuroma Painful?

The thickening of the tissue can lead to sudden heel pain and discomfort in the ball of the foot.


The pain can be accompanied by odd sensations or numbness over the ball of the foot. The primary reason it’s painful is due to the pressure exerted on the nerve, often exacerbated by wearing high heels or tight shoes.




The exact cause of Morton’s Neuroma remains unclear, but it’s believed to develop as a result of irritation, pressure, or injury to one of the nerves leading to the toes. Factors like wearing high heels or shoes with a narrow toe box can contribute to its onset.


First Aid / Home Remedy:

  • Footwear: Opt for shoes with a broad toe box and extra depth. Avoid high heels or tight shoes.
  • Ice Massage: Regularly massage the affected area with ice. This can help reduce pain and inflammation.
  • Anti-inflammatory medications: Over-the-counter drugs like ibuprofen or naproxen sodium can reduce swelling and provide pain relief.
  • Rest: Limit high-impact activities like jumping or HIIT exercises for a few weeks.
  • Shoe Inserts: Use metatarsal pads or arch supports. These can be bought over-the-counter or custom-made to fit the contours of your foot, helping reduce pressure on the nerve.

Why The Footwork Clinic?


When you’re battling with conditions like arthritis in feet and ankles, sudden heel pain, or a bunion in your big toe, it’s tempting to seek quick home remedies. However, these often offer temporary relief.


At The Footwork Clinic, we believe in long-term to permanent solutions. Our specialised sports podiatrists are experts in addressing conditions ranging from arthritis to fracture.


Unlike generic treatments, we focus on correcting the mechanical misalignment of the foot and ankle, offering specialised therapies and treatments, which include the following:


  • Foot Mobilisation Techniques
  • Trigenics® Functional Muscle Neurology
  • Western Medical Acupuncture
  • Low-Level Laser Therapy
  • Movement Assessment Technologies
  • Active Release Techniques
  • InterX Neurostimulation Therapy
  • Custom Foot Orthoses
  • Kinesiology Sports Taping
  • Corrective / Rehabilitation Exercise


What sets us apart is our commitment to holistic health care, ensuring that every patient receives a treatment plan tailored to their unique needs.


Don’t let foot pain hold you back. Experience the difference at The Footwork Clinic. Book your appointment today.


Director | Rehabilitation or Rehab / Sports Podiatrist,

Foot Mobilisation & Trigenics® Lower Limb Practitioner, Movement Restoration Coach (MRC™), Strength and Conditioning Coach

Is Pain Impacting Your Life?

You don’t need to live like this. Let us help you!

The Footwork Clinic, situated in Chatswood on Sydney’s North Shore and Sydney CBD, is there to help should you have an injury or condition that you think would benefit from heat or ice treatment. They offer advanced manual therapies and a holistic and corrective care approach, with a proven track record of success in resolving acute and chronic conditions, and they will gladly offer advice to get you on the road to recovery as soon as possible.

For further information, visit the The Footwork Clinic – Leading Sports, Podiatry, Foot And Lower Limb Corrective Services to book online, or call Mark Lin or his friendly team on +61 2 9131 6891.

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The information contained in this guide is provided in good faith and is not intended to be nor is it to be used as a substitute for any sort of professional, medical or podiatric advice. An accurate diagnosis can only be made following personal consultation with a podiatrist. Any users should always seek the advice of their podiatrist, or other qualified healthcare providers before commencing any treatment.

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