Arthritis is a degenerative condition marked by joint inflammation that causes stiffness and pain. Of course, there are several forms of arthritis – rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, gout, lupus and so on – that can affect any joint in the body, and your toes make no exception.
I was diagnosed a few years ago with rheumatoid arthritis and since then I started a balanced diet and lifestyle to keep it under control and reduce the pain. Even if rheumatoid arthritis pain is part of your life, the pain exceeds in intensity when there are temperature fluctuations – you know how they say “winter is coming”!
Since my condition is in an early stage, I feel the pain only in my fingers and toes. The pain is low in intensity but it lasts for days, and your feet are basically numb and painful at the same time.
However, I managed to keep the pain under control and to get rid of it with some helpful and natural advices given my physical therapist. So, whenever my toes begin to hurt I use the following remedies to alleviate it.
1. Apple Cider Vinegar
- Mix equal amounts of raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar and lukewarm water in a foot tub. Soak your big toe in this solution for 30 minutes. When done, dry your foot thoroughly.
- Do it twice daily to notice an improvement in the pain and swelling.
- Also, mix 1 teaspoon of raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar into a glass of warm water and add a little honey.
- Drink it twice daily.
2. Warm Oil Massage
- Warm up some olive or coconut oil in the microwave.
- Dab the warm oil on the affected area.
- Using your fingers, do deep-friction massage for 10 minutes.
- Repeat 2 or 3 times daily.
- For external use, mix a little olive oil and ½ teaspoon of turmeric powder to form a paste. Apply it on your big toe and cover it with a bandage for a couple of hours. Do it 2 or 3 times daily for several days.
- To promote internal healing, dissolve 1 teaspoon of turmeric in a glass of lukewarm water. Drink it twice daily to ease inflammation.
- Alternatively, you can take curcumin capsules, after consulting your doctor for the proper dosage.
4. Cayenne Pepper
- Add ½ teaspoon of cayenne pepper powder to 1 tablespoon of lukewarm coconut oil. Mix thoroughly, then apply it on the affected toe. Allow it to sit for 20 minutes. Rinse it off with lukewarm water. Do this 2 or 3 times a day.
- Alternatively, you can apply a capsaicin cream to the affected area daily.
5. Contrast Hydrotherapy
- Fill 2 small tubs – one with cold water and the other with warm water.
- First, soak the affected toe in warm water for 3 to 4 minutes.
- Then, put the toe in the cold water for 1 minute.
- Continue alternating steps 2 and 3 for 15 to 20 minutes.
- Repeat the treatment 3 or 4 times daily until you get relief.
- Do aerobic exercises like walking, biking or swimming for 30 minutes, 5 days a week.
- Do gentle weight training and resistance training a few times a week to build stronger muscles.
- Do range-of-motion exercises at least 30 minutes daily.
Important! You shouldn’t feel pain during the oil massage technique. A gentle massage will be enough.
And wearing proper footwear will be another important aspect in alleviating toe arthritis pain.