One of the most common chronic foot problems, plantar fasciitis strikes 1 in every 10 people at some point in their lives. Caused by an inflammation of the plantar fascia, a ligament in the sole of the foot composed of dense connective tissue, the condition results in heel pain that ranges from mild to severe. Some sufferers cannot walk for days when the area become irritated and inflamed; others limp around with orthopedic shoes. |
According to podiatrists, about two million Americans seek treatment for the condition each year. When addressed early, it is possible to prevent the irritation from becoming full-blown inflammation.
When to seek help?
Stiffness and a stabbing pain are the most common symptoms of plantar fasciitis. The discomfort or pain occurs on the underside of the heel and may be either sharp or dull. But when the area becomes inflamed, the pain may spread down the plantar fascia and away from the heel.
Since it is often caused by a poor foot structure, there is no cure for the chronic condition. Sufferers must manage pain specialty products like orthopedic shoe inserts and lots of rest. NSAIDs like acetaminophen and ibuprofen may help alleviate the pain from inflammation.
Why It Happens
The human foot is an extremely complex and delicate structure that can be thrown out of balance for a number of reasons. Although completely natural, the weight gain experienced during pregnancy puts enormous pressure on the plantar fascia and can cause it to become inflamed.
Signs & Symptoms
If you feel a sharp pain in your heel shortly after you get up in the morning or after sitting for some time, you may have plantar fasciitis. Because pregnant women must gain weight, the stiffness and pain associated with the condition often get worse the further they get into their pregnancy.
If you experience symptoms of the condition during your pregnancy, you should take immediate action. Failure to do so could turn a temporary problem into a chronic injury that could last for many years. With that in mind, here are a few simple tips a podiatrist might share with his pregnant patients.
Add Orthotic Inserts
You should wear a shoe with great arch support to avoid additional strain. An orthotic shoe insert should provide you with the comfort and support needed.
Elevate Your Feet
To avoid excessive swelling, you should put your feet up as much as possible. That includes propping them up on a pillow when you sleep.
Applying an ice pack to swollen areas several times a day can help you control swelling and inflammation. To avoid irritation, it is important to limit icing sessions to twenty minutes.
The tightness and pain associated with plantar fasciitis can often be relieved with a few minutes of mild stretching. One of the most effective stretching exercises for pregnant patients is to use a towel to pull toes back and stretch the calf.
See A Doctor
If none of the home treatment options relieves your daily discomfort, it is imperative that you see a podiatrist as soon as possible. If not addressed in a timely manner, the condition could cause a permanent injury.
When searching for a podiatrist in New Jersey, residents visit Ocean County Foot & Ankle Surgical Associates, P.C. To learn more, visit http://www.ocfasa.com/ocean-county-foot-ankle-offices.html.
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