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Foot Orthoses Help Foot Pain from Rheumatoid Arthritis

Pain, disability and activity limitation reduced within one month

THURSDAY, April 20 (HealthDay News) -- Foot orthoses may be useful in managing pain in rheumatoid arthritis patients, according to a report in the April issue of Rheumatology. About 90 percent of such patients experience foot pain.

Manoel B. Bertolo, M.D., Ph.D., and colleagues from the State University of Campinas-UNICAMP in Brazil, examined and prescribed foot orthoses for 36 rheumatoid arthritis patients with foot pain. The foot function index (FFI) was measured at 30, 90 and 180 days after the baseline visit.

All subscales of FFI including pain, disability and physical limitation decreased within the first month, remained low throughout the trial, and were not affected by the patients' physical condition at baseline. However, patients with very deformed feet who wore made-to-measure orthoses exhibited higher initial FFI and worse evolution of pain and disability during the trial.

"Foot orthoses were effective as an adjuvant in the management of rheumatoid foot. They significantly reduced pain, disability and activity limitation, as measured by the FFI, with minor adverse effects," the authors conclude. "Physicians should always be able to identify causes of pain in rheumatoid foot and to prescribe foot orthoses with appropriate modifications in situations in which they could be helpful," they add.

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