Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Tips to keep your feet in perfectly healthy shape during pregnancy

Pregnancy is a blissful experience. The would-be mom often remains so completely engrossed with the sheer thought of cradling her precious bundle of joy within a few months, that she tends to ignore several health issues; foot condition being one of them. The fact is, pregnancy can trigger certain foot problems which ultimately result in swelling, pain at heel and arch portions along with cramping and varicose vein. The basic reason is natural weight gain whereby a woman’s centre of gravity is completely altered. Many would opine that this condition is natural, so why not bear it till childbirth! Well, the answer is that a pregnant woman needs to be conscious of her wellbeing and that includes taking care of her feet too. She should enjoy those nine months period with a smiling face rather than fretting over painfully swollen feet!

Two most common foot problems experienced by women during pregnancy are over-pronation or flat feet and edema. Due to additional body weight the arch portion flattens out thus causing feet to roll inward. Walking can be quite painful with flat feet and if not attended in time then over-pronation may lead to other serious conditions like Heel Spur, Bunions, Plantar Fasciitis, Metatarsalgia or Post-Tib Tendonitis. Another foot condition related to pregnancy, i.e., edema occurs at a later stage. It is mostly related to foot swelling which is caused due to extra blood accumulation in extreme points, as the blood pressure heightens in pelvis and leg portions. Usually the extent of swelling is similar in both feet but if you notice any asymmetry then this may indicate a vascular problem. Immediate consultation with a physician is advised in such cases.

Taking care of feet during pregnancy is not that difficult. By following a healthy diet, drinking plenty of water and exercising regularly you can keep yourself immune from extreme foot conditions. However, avoid too rigorous an exercise regime; rather walking is a suitable option. If you need to stand for long hours at workplace then try to rest your feet whenever possible. If your work demands sitting at a stretch then elevate your foot to a comfortable position by placing a stool beneath it. These measures can prove to be quite effective for pregnant women suffering from edema. The other right thing which should be done is shift to comfortable footwear. Fancy footwear with high heels which constricts blood circulation is a strict no-no. Customized foot orthotics that provides additional support and helps in shock absorption can relieve you from pain and discomfort related to over-pronation. These products are designed specifically with proper arch support and medial rearfoot posts.

Neglecting persistent foot conditions during pregnancy might turn out to be harmful. Don’t take any preventive measures just based on assumption. Consult an expert podiatrist to assess the severity of the situation. If planning to buy tailored orthotic footwear then also the doctor’s assessment of your foot conditions can help a lot. The orthotic laboratory will manufacture the product based on the podiatrist’s analysis, thus ensuring maximum comfort for your troubled feet.

Thursday, 12 September 2013

Effective treatment strategies for rolled ankles

Ankle injuries turn out to be discomforting and painful, if not attended in time. As per a recent medical survey, an approximate 25,000 people in the U.S sprain their ankles on daily basis. More than a million people have to visit emergency rooms per year because of sprained ankles. This is indeed an alarming figure! The common idea is that athletes are more likely to suffer from ankle injuries. However this doesn’t mean that those not into sports are well protected from ankle sprains. It is believed that ankle injuries can happen to anyone, irrespective of age group. If not careful then the ankle may get rolled or twisted inwards, even while walking or carrying out normal activities.

Before talking about treatment for rolled ankles, it is important to discuss the primary cause behind this. Sometimes rolled ankles occur simply because the person was unmindful with his steps. However, if the problem keeps recurring then it has to do with muscle weakness and underlying foot conditions. People with flat feet or high arches tend to have foot pronation. Symptoms vary depending on severity of the injury. Usually the person suffers from swelling and bruises coupled with ankle pain or stiffness of the joint portion. While the first degree ankle sprain doesn’t cause much of discomfort and gets healed with rest and some basic treatments, pain becomes really unbearable with the third degree sprain when the patient suffers from a torn or completely ruptured ligament.

The basic problem with ankle injury is that the severity of the situation is often not realized at the onset. It may so happen that your ankle gets hurt in the morning but the pain and swelling set in by evening. People often try out painkillers or different home remedies on their own till the situation turns really critical. If it is a rolled ankle or any other kind of ankle sprain then don’t take any chance. You may not like to visit the doc on slightest instance but isn’t it a welcome option than limping rest of the life! So, seek medical advice as early as possible. Those looking for fastest recovery from rolled ankles or foot injuries should consult an expert podiatrist to get specialized injury treatment program. Let the medical practitioner decide whether you have first or third degree ankle sprain. If he feels that the condition is indeed serious then he may suggest certain preliminary tests like X-ray, ultrasound or MRI, based on which the diagnosis is confirmed. However if the injury is found to be of first degree then he might ask you to follow the R.I.C.E. method, i.e. complete rest of the ankle, putting ice pack, compressing the ankle joint with elastic bandage and elevating the ankle to a suitable level.

Specially designed orthotics is a good option for those susceptible to ankle injuries. Make sure to pick out the right orthotic shoe, after consulting an expert. Just keep in mind that your foot and ankle are as precious as any other body part and hence demand the same level of attention and care.