Foot and Toe Degenerative Joint Disease: should you rest or be active?

Published: 24th August 2010
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If you have foot and toe degenerative joint disease you will have been told to both rest and to stay active but which do you do when? If you were not sure if you should ‘push through the pain’ or to stop when it hurts then read on. It is important to know when to do what. Not that it will make any difference to your DJD in the long term- this is all about short term comfort and learning to manage your foot and toe degenerative joint disease.

WHEN TO REST.
If you have been on the go for a while and you start to get pain then STOP. With foot and toe degenerative joint disease you will usually get a local pain in the foot and toes, especially along the top of the arch and in the base of the toes. The pain may spread down the inside, outside, front or back of the foot and toe, usually as a deep ache. Pain is your body's way of telling you that is enough for the moment. Learn to look on the pain you get as a friendly warning from your body that it is time for a coffee break rather than getting too frustrated.

If you do rest for a while when you start to get pain then you will usually be able to carry on again pain free after you have rested for a short while and not suffer any consequences. Carry on when your foot and toe degenerative joint disease has warned you and the pain will get worse and you will suffer the pain for longer when you do eventually stop.

It is also a good idea when you rest to use a cold pack. (If you want to know how to use a cold pack effectively there should be an article on this site or sign up for the course below).

WHEN TO EXERCISE.
If you have been sedentary for a bit (for example getting out in the bed in the morning or after sitting watching TV for an hour or two) and you have foot and toe degenerative joint disease then you will often get pain when you start to move. This is the time to 'work through' the pain. This also applies if the pain is a result of having done too much earlier in the day (even though I am sure you would have iced after!).

Foot and toe degenerative joint disease usually gives a different pain from too little activity than if you have done too much as it tends to be extreme stiffness type pain. If you have done too much the pain tends to be sharper ache type pain if that makes sense. (Pain is difficult to describe isn't it?).

To work through the stiffness of foot and toe degenerative joint disease you can either simply walk about or go through a few stretching exercises. It will ease quicker if you use heat before you exercise. (Again you can find out how to do this at my website).

If you know when to stop and when to push through the pain you will find it much easier to control the symptoms of your foot and toe degenerative joint disease. I told you it was easy……..


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