Pregnancy leads to numerous changes in a woman’s body, most of which are pleasant. The weight gain associated with pregnancy can add pressure, alter a woman’s center of gravity, and create a new stance and gait, leading to common problems.
Some women experience edema (swelling) resulting from the extra blood accumulated and/or water retained during the later stages of pregnancy. Further, as the uterus enlarges, it puts pressure on the blood vessels in the pelvis and legs. Circulation in the lower body is decreased. Feet can become swollen and purple.
Jason Grossman, DPM recommends the following steps to minimize edema:
- Get off your feet as often as possible.
- Use a small stool to elevate your feet while sitting at a desk.
- Wear proper fitting footwear and seamless socks that do not constrict circulation. Have your feet measured several times throughout your pregnancy as they will probably change sizes.
- Take regular breaks to stretch your legs and promote circulation when flying or driving over long distances.
- Exercise regularly and eat a well-balanced diet. Avoid salt, which promotes fluid retention.
- Stay hydrated…drink plenty of water!
Leg and Foot Cramps
Leg cramps during pregnancy are uncomfortable but harmless. To prevent and stop them, stretch your leg, heel first, and gently flex your toes back toward your shins. Never point your toes while stretching as this can contract the muscle and make the cramp worse. After you stretch, massage the muscle and walk around for a few minutes to let it relax.
Also referred to as flat feet, over-pronation is caused when a person’s arch flattens and their feet roll inward when walking. This can stress the plantar fascia, the fibrous band of tissue that runs from the heel to the front of the foot, and make walking painful. Weight gain leads to over-pronation in some pregnant women, especially those who are obese before becoming pregnant. Custom orthotics are the best treatment for the problem.
The extra volume of blood produced during pregnancy puts added pressure on the blood vessels in the legs. Combining this with the force that the uterus puts on the lower body and the effects of increased progesterone in the body can lead to third-trimester varicose veins for many women.
Varicose veins are large, swollen blood vessels found predominantly in the legs, and occasionally in the rectum or vulva. When they swell above the surface of the skin, they create distinctive purplish lumps. They are typically only a cosmetic issue, although they may itch or ache, and usually shrink or disappear altogether within a few months after birth.
Dr. Jason Grossman brings decades of experience to his work with pregnant women. Call Advanced Feet and Ankle Care at (732) 679-4330 or click here today to schedule a convenient appointment for Jason Grossman, DPM to examine your feet, diagnose any current or potential issues, and work with you to keep you feeling great for the next nine months.
A heel spur is a small bony protrusion or a collection of tiny, irregularly shaped growths on the bone at the underside of the heel caused by the displacement of calcium. Although heel spurs can be asymptomatic, they are more often accompanied by a stabbing pain.
Heel spurs are most often seen in middle-aged men and women, but they can be found in all age groups. They are especially common in patients who report discomfort from plantar fasciitis. 70% are found to also have heel spurs when observed with X-ray.
What Is a Heel Spur?
Spurs form when the heel is subjected to constant wear and tear. Strain tears the membrane that covers the heel bone, which is then exposed. Over a period of several months, bone-forming cells migrate to the site and deposit calcium, causing the formation of heel spurs.
What Causes a Heel Spur?
There are many possible causes for heel spurs, including:
- Repetitive motion from running, jogging, jumping, or walking, especially on hard surfaces.
- Atypical or lopsided walking
- Poorly fitted or badly worn shoes, especially those without appropriate arch support
- Obesity and excess weight
Heal Spur Discomfort
Because there’s already tissue present at the site of a heel spur, sometimes that area and the surrounding tissues get inflamed, leading to chronic heel pain that occurs when jogging or walking. The pain caused by heel spurs is most often described as a sharp, stabbing pain when using the foot after a long period of rest. That initial sensation typically calms down to a dull throb, but revives when engaging in physical activity.
Contrary to popular belief, heel spurs aren’t pointy or sharp pieces of bone. The cause of the pain is generally not the heel spur itself, but the soft-tissue buildup associated with it. Therefore, heel spurs don’t always present with symptoms. You might have one and not feel any pain, but it’s more likely that discomfort will lead you to seek relief. The best place to find it is at the podiatrist’s office. Your podiatrist is the best qualified medical professional to treat issues in your feet, ankles, and lower legs.
Are you experiencing morning heel pain? It might be a bone spur, or it could be plantar fasciitis, a thickening and shortening of a tendon in the foot. It’s important to have the source of your discomfort properly diagnosed in order to undertake an appropriate course of treatment.
Call Advanced Feet and Ankle Care at (732) 679-4330 or click here today to schedule a convenient appointment with Dr. Jason Grossman in our Old Bridge or Sayreville offices. He’ll help you understand why you’ve been uncomfortable and get you back on your feet!
When the peripheral nerves that connect the core of the body with the periphery, are damaged, they don't work they way they should. This is called Peripheral Neuropathy. If you develop this condition, you may experience decreased or abnormal sensation in your feet and toes, along with possible mobility issues.
Causes of Peripheral Neuropathy
Diabetes is the most common cause of peripheral neuropathy. For some people, diabetes comes first, and neuropathy follows. For others, it happens in the other order– neuropathy symptoms lead them to the doctor’s office, where they find out that they have diabetes. 60 to 70 percent of patients with diabetes will develop neuropathy within their lifetime.
Other causes of peripheral neuropathy include s injury to the peripheral nerves, a, f, a (especially when the spine is compromised), c, and h
- Cramping or twitching
If any of this sounds familiar, or if you are experiencing unusual sensations in your feet, you should call Advanced Feet and Ankle Care at (732) 679-4330 or click here right away to set up an appointment with doctor in our conveniently located Old Bridge and Sayreville offices. Dr. Jason Grossman will examine your feet, diagnose the source of your discomfort, and create an effective treatment plan to get you feeling better as soon as possible.
Think of babies’ pudgy little feet. That softness is naturally occurring cushioning made of a combination of collagen, elastin, and adipose. Unfortunately, those cushions thin as you age. The loss of those cushions can lead to pain when you stand or walk, especially as the day wears on.
You can combat the loss of natural cushioning with gel pads, inserts, or custom orthotics.
The same collagen that helps cushion your feet also helps your skin be soft and supple. As you age, your body’s supply of collagen dries up, making skin dry and flaky.
Fight dry skin by using a moisturizer twice a day. Be sure to focus on your heels, where cracks can occur.
Arthritis is a disease that causes inflammation in the joints. There are more than 30 joints in your feet. If you develop arthritis as you get older, it is likely to appear in your feet as well as throughout your body. You may experience stiffness in the morning, pain on standing or walking, or a reduction in your range of motion. Arthritis elsewhere in the body, such as the hip, knee, or ankle, can cause foot pain if you alter your gait as an accommodation.
Over the counter and prescription medications can ease the symptoms of arthritis.
All those years of pointy stilettoes just might catch up with you. Hammertoes, permanently bent and misshapen toes caused by damaged muscles, become a risk, as do the corns as calluses they tend to cause as they rub up against your shoes.
Prevent hammertoes by saving those fashion-forward shoes for special occasions and wearing more practical, comfortable shoes on a regular basis. If you have a hammertoe, those new shoes might help, or surgery might be the best option.
Peripheral Arterial Disease
Diabetes and other conditions more common with age can slow the blood flow to your feet to your extremities. Your feet may often feel cold. Small wounds may take much longer to heal than they once did, or even turn into an ulcer that won’t heal.
Smokers experience PAD sooner, more often, and more severely than people who don’t smoke. If you smoke, please consider cutting down or quitting today.
The best thing that you can do to take care of your feet is to establish a relationship with a podiatrist like Jason Grossman, DPM. Your podiatrist is the most qualified professional to take care of your feet. He can notice changes, diagnose concerns, and treat issues. Call Advanced Feet and Ankle Care at (732) 679-4330 or click here for a convenient appointment to see Dr. Jason Grossman in our Old Bridge or Sayreville offices. He will examine your feet and make a plan with you to keep them feeling great for a lifetime.
Your feet can reveal a great deal about what’s going on in your body. Symptoms of illnesses throughout the body are often revealed through symptoms in the feet and ankles. When you pay good attention to your foot health, you pay good attention to your overall well-being.
Symptom: Foot Numbness
What It Might Mean: We’ve all had a foot go numb after sitting in one position for too long, or sleeping in an awkward position. That’s nothing serious. If one or both feet regularly goes numb or feels like “pins and needles,” it can be a sign ofperipheral neuropathy. This is a frequent complication of diabetes, which can affect blood flow to your feet. In addition to causing your feet to go numb, the lack of circulation also means that wounds heal slowly, if at all, leaving you susceptible to infection.
Symptom: Bald Toes
What It Might Mean: Everyone has fine hairs on their toes, even women. A lack of hair on the toes can be a sign of poor blood flow caused by diabetes, or by Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD), which is especially common in smokers.
Symptom: Dry, Flaky Skin
What It Might Mean: If you suddenly develop heel cracks, you may actually have a thyroid condition. Your thyroid is a gland in your throat that produces hormones to manage your metabolic rate and nervous system functions. Dry, flaky skin at the heel or the ball of the foot can signify a problem with your thyroid.
Symptom: Morning Foot Pain
What It Might Mean: If your feet hurt when you first get up in the morning, it might be a sign of Plantar Fasciitis, a common problem that occurs when a ligament in the foot becomes irritated. Morning foot pain can also be a sign of Rheumatoid Arthritis, an auto-immune disorder characterized by inflammation in the joints.
Symptom: Spooned Nails
What It Might Mean: koilonychias. Spooned nails can indicate a lack or excess of iron in the body. They can also be a sign of lupus, an autoimmune disease affecting tissues and organs.
Get to know your feet. Be alert to changes. If something doesn’t look or feel right, come in to see Jason Grossman, DPM right away. He will draw on his decades of experience as he examines your feet, diagnoses any problems, and works with you to create an effective treatment plan.