While preparing for a new life to join your family, being pregnant can be a time of incredible changes to your body. Sometimes this is a good thing, and sometimes it’s painful. Making another human is a lot of work and it can have some taxing results on you physically.
Pregnant women frequently complain of changes to their feet, with swelling and pains being the most common. It’s also possible that pregnant women can suffer from plantar fasciitis. Here are a few things to know:
What causes plantar fasciitis in pregnant women?
Plantar fasciitis is caused when the thick band of tissue that runs along the bottom of your foot becomes inflamed or irritated, causing pain on standing and walking. This is most common in people who are overweight or in people who do high-impact exercises frequently.
If left over time, it’s possible for plantar fasciitis to facilitate the growth of bone spurs. This is a natural response to continued pain in any part of your body, as your body naturally sends extra calcium to the site of pain to grow more bone in case that would help ease the pain. Bone spurs are also easy to treat and can go away with time.
Many women during their pregnancy will gain weight, even if only the pounds added as the baby grows over nine months. This weight gain can cause swollen ankles and can aggravate the band on the bottom of the foot, causing pain. Additionally, a hormone called relaxin is released in pregnant women, which relaxes ligaments. This is a good thing when it comes to your pelvis during childbirth, but a bad thing when it comes to your feet. Relaxed ligaments in the feet during weight-bearing can increase irritation or inflammation in the bottom connective tissue, leading to plantar fasciitis.
How do I treat plantar fasciitis if I’m pregnant?
Luckily, plantar fasciitis is easily treatable over time and there are a few different approaches you can take. Talk with your doctor about the best treatment for you during your pregnancy:
● Walk and exercise gently in order to keep your feet and ankles stretched and active
● Wear orthotic inserts and comfortable shoes
● Wear compression socks
● Treat heel pain with a homeopathic topical remedy as approved by your doctor
● Rest your feet and stretch them regularly, rolling them out with a small ball as approved by your doctor
You might be surprised by the number of physical aches and pains you can develop from sitting all day.
While ergonomic keyboards and mouse pads can help with some things, there’s no substitution for supportive seating and regular stretching. Getting up and walking around throughout the day can also help alleviate some office-related stiffness.
If you’re experiencing regular heel pain, you may want to consult your doctor about potentially have plantar fasciitis. While office work won’t necessarily directly cause plantar fasciitis, there are some things that happen day to day in an office that can aggravate heel pain.
1. Lack of Use Can Cause Pain
This may sound counterintuitive—you would think that not using your feet all day would keep them from hurting. But you may notice after sitting for long periods that your feet cramp up or hurt when you go to stand. You may also notice while working your office job that you have to take more breaks than you used to when walking long distances.
Essentially, your feet need a second to adjust to bearing weight after not doing so for long stretches.
2. Standing Desks
Maybe you traded in your sitting desk for a standing desk in order to help with back, neck and shoulder pain. Unfortunately, this can sometimes mean standing for long periods. Without the proper support pads to stand on, or proper shoes, you may develop foot pain. In order to avoid putting your feet through unnecessary torture, make sure to get squishy pads to stand on all day and put a few insoles in your shoes.
3. Missed Stretching Opportunities
If you know you have heel pain or plantar fasciitis, then missing chances to stretch throughout the day can aggravate these pre-existing maladies. You can easily sit and stretch or massage your heels at your desk. Or you can bring a small ball for rolling out your foot under your desk.
Stretching regularly even if you don’t have heel pain can be beneficial for preventing any regular aches and pains. So even if you aren’t feeling any discomfort yet, you can get ahead of the game by stretching anyway.
If you continue to experience bottom of foot or heel pain over a long period of time, you should consult your primary care physician. They will be able to recommend regular stretching exercises or the best plan of care in order to address this pain. If you’re interested in topical or homeopathic remedies for heel pain, talk about the best way to incorporate this into your care with your doctor.
Home remedies to ease painful feet problems
Painful feet problems occur as a result of tight-fitting footwear, bunion growth, or heel pain. An ingrown toenail, calluses, corns, and even fungal infections like athlete’s foot are just a few sources of foot pain and discomfort.
However, bad foot conditions can also stem from fatigue, defective foot structure, and an abnormal walking manner. Here are some easy home remedies that can relieve your feet of some of the discomfort and pain.
Wear shoes that are comfortable and of the right size
Get rid of old and worn out shoes that affect your manner of walking. For your shoes to be comfortable and prevent painful feet, you have to find a pair that fits you perfectly. To get a perfect fit, shop for shoes in the afternoon or late in the day when your feet already had a chance to expand. Another great tip for trying out shoes is to stand up while being fitted. Walk around as this will make you aware of any sign of discomfort or a bad fit. Give your feet enough space at the front of the shoes to avoid your toes being compressed.
High-heeled shoes can injure your feet over time
Women are more likely to develop bunion and hammer toe than men. This is because women wear high-heeled shoes and are inclined to use them for extended periods. There are varying views whether high heels cause bunions or not. However, they definitely can contribute to the condition by pushing down and compressing the toes at the narrow front end of the shoes.
Instead, consider using platform shoes. They can make you appear taller and put your feet to stay in a level and comfortable position. Do not use shoes with heels higher than two inches.
Soak your feet pain away
After a hard day at work, you can freshen and invigorate your tired aching feet by soaking them in water. First sit in a chair, and soak them in a basin of cold water. After 5 minutes, soak them in hot water that you can comfortably tolerate. Repeat. This alternate soaking dilates and contracts your feet’s blood vessels to improve circulation.
Treat your feet with essential oils
Essential oils are a great way to pamper your feet. Add 2 drops of peppermint oil to a bowl of hot water. Add in four drops each of rosemary and eucalyptus oil. Soak your feet in this mixture for ten minutes.
A strong cup of peppermint tea is a good alternative if there are no essential oils around. Simply add the tea to the bowl of water. You can also mix a half ounce of arnica tincture to warm water to make a soothing foot soak. This can stimulate blood circulation to ease painful feet quickly.
Another way to have an invigorating foot massage to relieve foot pain is to use 3 tablespoons of sesame oil mixed with 3 drops of clove oil. Combine these oils well and massage your feet with the mixture.
You can also try another foot massage recipe using 2 teaspoons olive oil combined with a drop of geranium oil, a drop of camomile oil, and 3 drops lavender oil.
Try foot stretches to relieve heel pain
Heel pain that occurs mostly in the morning can be a sign of plantar fasciitis. This painful condition is marked by the inflammation of the thick connective tissue between the heel bone and the base of the toes. Read Foot Stretches for Heel Pain You Can Do At Home and 4 Easy Foot Stretches To Prevent Heel Pain In the Morning to minimize the chances of heel pain. You can also try HeelAid™ to alleviate the pain of plantar fasciitis.
Use orthotics and shoe inserts
Orthotics and shoe inserts are two other methods of relieving or preventing heel pain that is usually caused by flat feet or fallen arches. It corrects unnatural walking pattern by altering the angle in which the user’s feet strikes the ground while walking.
Massage the soles of your feet
Wellness shops and health food stores sell rollers designed specifically to massage and stimulate the soles of your feet. This can help loosen the connective tendon under the sole and prevent painful feet usually caused by plantar fasciitis. As an alternative, you can roll your affected foot over a golf ball, a tennis ball, or a can of peas. Do this for several minutes.
Some people want to find cures or treatment for their physical ailments that don’t rely on prescription medication or more traditional forms of medicine. For people looking for an alternative route of care, homeopathy can be an option.
Homeopathy is a form of medicine that uses “like cures like” and the “law of the minimum dose” to treat or cure common health concerns. The first principle means that homeopathy focuses on using natural substances to cure a disease or symptom that produce similar symptoms in a healthy person. The second principle means that the smallest amount possible of a substance is what’s used—never too much. Essentially, the lower the dosage, the more effective the treatment.
It’s important to note that there is no science-backed evidence supporting the effectiveness of homeopathic treatment and it’s a something that should be incorporated into your plan of care with a licensed physician. That being said, there are some key benefits to homeopathy that you may experience.
1. Homeopathy is holistic healing
One of the biggest benefits that people enjoy about homeopathy is that it’s a holistic approach to healing. It considers all aspects of your health in response to symptoms you may be experiencing.
For example, if a patient is experiencing regular aches or pains, a homeopathic doctor won’t simply give them a painkiller and send them on their way. They’ll look at the whole view of that person’s health to see what could be causing the regular aches, whether any of those causes are emotional or mental, and how to address the context and connections that tie into those symptoms.
2. Homeopathic remedies can be more cost effective
Because these types of remedies use all-natural substances, they generally cost less than prescription medications—with or without insurance. This means a person can treat symptoms or issues they may be facing for a fraction of the cost they would otherwise. Homeopathic care can make healthcare more accessible in some cases to those in low-income situations.
For example, instead of having to pay for a prescription sleep aid, patients can buy small amounts of lavender or melatonin. Lavender especially is cost effective as it’s a dried flower and can generally be bought in bulk.
3. Low doses of natural products are used
Concerns around getting sick from taking too much of a treatment don’t necessarily apply in the same way to homeopathic remedies. Remember: homeopathy follows the “less is more” principle so only tiny amounts of substances are used at a time. This makes it considerably more difficult for a patient to experience adverse side effects using natural substances.
Have you ever put on warm fuzzy socks on a cold day and immediately felt better all over your body?
A good pair of socks can be a magical thing to have in your arsenal, especially when it comes to your health. Your feet can regulate temperature and pain responses throughout the day, so making sure they’re comfortable can have lasting impacts on the way you feel physically overall.
If you have heel pain or plantar fasciitis, a good pair of compression socks can soothe some of your pain and make moving around a little easier. Here are a few popular options to choose from:
Designed to be worn under your regular socks and shoes, the FS6 is a compression sleeve made of a lightweight but durable material. It will mold specifically to your foot so you have a perfect fit that also helps to support your arches while easing your pain. One reviewer gave them 5 stars and said, “The socks gave me instant pain relief as soon as I put them on.”
These comfy socks have special support built in to help with arch support and heel pain relief. They’re a three-quarter style which makes them perfect for wearing with just about any style of shoe without having to worry about tall socks sticking out of your favorite shoes.
Thorlo designed these running socks to be made with their patented moisture-wicking fabric so you can keep your heel pain minimized without sweating through your socks. They also have an Achilles tendon pad to protect against chafing, making them great for working long shifts that may aggravate your heel pain.
These supportive socks have a no-show design that makes them perfect for wearing with your regular shoes. They promise to protect against blisters, soothe your heel pain and help with moisture management.
With the lowest price point for a few pairs of socks on this list and the most variation in available colors, these compression socks are an economical solution to your heel pain. They can help manage pain while also keeping you stylish with whatever you decide to wear. The bonus is there’s no seam on the toes!
This vibrant foot sleeve comes with a taping strap for extra support. The minds behind Bauerfeind have created a stabilizing sleeve that can help with your heel pain and any other foot or ankle pains you may want to manage.
This entire kit comes with compression sleeves, heel protectors, arch supports, and a massage ball. It’s a whole foot affair for managing your heel pain. One reviewer says that the massage ball is great for using while relaxing and watching TV.
Bunionectomy or bunion surgery is sometimes considered when a bunion makes walking difficult and painful. A bunion is an inflamed bony enlargement that occurs around a joint just below the big toe. It also develops at the base of the little toe where it is referred to as bunionette or tailor’s bunion. Bunions are also referred to as hallux valgus, a Latin term for foot deformity.
Bunions don’t happen overnight. They develop when the big toe leans toward the second toe and put pressure on the big toe joint. This causes the normal bone structure of the big toe to deform gradually, which results in the bunion swelling. Walking or wearing shoes becomes painful as the bulge increases in size.
While anyone can develop a bunion, the most widely affected are women. This is because many women love to use tight and narrow shoes that tend to compress the toes tightly together. The big toe being bent abnormally and pushing against the other toes is an ideal condition for a bunion to form.
A careful examination of your foot by a podiatrist will determine the right treatment for your condition. The exam will include some information about your symptoms, overall health, and medical history. While the condition of your foot and the bunion symptoms will be enough basis for a diagnosis, the doctor may also order a foot x-ray. This will enable the doctor to closely study how your toes are aligned and look for signs of joint damage.
Misaligned or damaged foot bones can affect the way you stand or walk. Your foot x-ray will be taken with you standing so the podiatrist can see how bad your foot bones have been misaligned. Once the severity of the bunion has been determined, the doctor can tell you whether a bunionectomy will be needed or not.
When Is a Bunionectomy Necessary?
At first, the doctor may prescribe changes in your footwear along with other nonsurgical methods to check your bunion’s development. If the pain persists after some time and walking becomes more difficult, then the doctor may recommend hallux valgus correction or bunion surgery. This procedure can realign bones, joints, and ligaments to correct the position of the big toe.
Bunion correction can involve several surgical procedures. Most are performed and finished within one day and won’t require a stay in the hospital. However, a long period of recovery is typically required after a bunionectomy.
Performing bunion surgery to correct adolescent bunion is not generally necessary. It is an option only if the bunion becomes unbearably painful and does not improve with footwear changes and other nonsurgical treatments. Bunion surgery should ideally be done on an adolescent who has already reached skeletal maturity, otherwise there is a high probability that the bunion will recur.
Treatments without bunion surgery
There are certain treatment methods that can be employed without having to undergo bunionectomy. These nonsurgical methods cannot really shrink a bunion, but they can help alleviate the pain and prevent the bunion from growing worse.
Change your footwear
Bunions could be caused by not wearing footwear that is not right for your feet. Wear shoes with wide flexible sole that provide comfort and support to your foot. Be sure the shoes have enough space in the front (toe box) to make room for your bunion.
Wear shoes with the right fit
When shopping for new shoes, it is best to try them on late in the afternoon or at the end of the day. At this time of the day, your feet have already expanded. Remain standing while your shoes are being fitted. Make sure that there is ample room at the front of the shoe for your longest toe.
Avoid wearing high-heeled shoes for extended periods
As mentioned, bunions are more common in women because of their regular use of high heels. While high-heeled shoes don’t directly cause bunions as they are fundamentally genetic. However, they can trigger and aggravate the condition by pushing and cramming the toes down the narrow front of the shoes. If you must wear shoes that will give you a height increase, consider using platform shoes that allow your feet to stay on a level position. You can use heels as long as they are not higher than two inches.
Cushion your bunion
Cushion your bunion while wearing shoes by using foam or gel-filled pads that can be purchased from drugstores. These pads provide relief by absorbing some of the pressure and pain caused by walking.
Ice pack application
Apply an ice pack at various times during the day for 20 minutes at a time to help bring down the bunion swelling and pain. Do not apply the cold pack directly on your bare skin. Ice pack application is helpful particularly to persons who’s work requires them to be on their feet most of the time.
Take anti-inflammatory pain relievers
Take non-prescription painkillers like ibuprofen to bring down inflammation. On the other hand, your bunion could have been caused by arthritis. In this case, you would need to consult your doctor for prescription medication.
Consider shoe inserts and orthotics
You can consider trying custom-made orthotics or over-the-counter shoe inserts to relieve some of the pain and discomfort caused by your bunion. You can also try toe spacers that you can place between your toes. Some doctors also recommend night splints that you can wear as you sleep. It sets the big toe in a more comfortable position to help ease some of the pain.
While it is a rare treatment method used for bunion relief, corticosteroid injections have shown positive results in reducing swelling of the bursa. Bursas are fluid-filled sacs located between joints. Inflamed bursas have been observed to accompany bunions at times.