My RA started in my feet. About 20% of patients are introduced to RA via painful feet and about 95% of RA patients eventually do have feet involvement. RA struck my poor feet first. Diagnosis was slow as my primary doc, an internist, later said I was too old to have RA and that the pulses in my feet were strong so my feet were fine.
Once I was diagnosed. Methotrexate (MTX) was my first RA drug. The dose was gradually increased until I reached the max of 25 mg/week. I tolerated the nausea and diarrhea which eventually passed. MTX helped me but by this time my feet were in a lot of pain and I walked with great difficulty.
I was sent to a podiatrist who declared right off the bat that he didn’t do foot surgery for RA. Fine, I thought. I had read about the horrors of RA foot surgery and I wanted none of it. I did need to know what would help.
He did three things for me. He ordered a series of weight bearing feet x-rays that were done during my appointment. I already had joint changes. Second he said I need to go to New Balance and buy shoes. Three I needed orthotics bought at the same place.
I bought two pairs of shoes, one called the nurses shoe and the other an excellent walking shoe. I had the clerk remove the inserts and replace them with the motion control ProThotics. This was one of the best things that I did for my health. My feet were happy, supported and comfortable. It was expensive but well worth it.