Do you work all day on your feet, in a retail environment? Do your feet often ache during or after work? Instead of this being a normal result of standing on your feet for 8-10 hours a day, it's possible that you actually have a treatable condition called plantar fasciitis. A visit to a podiatrist can confirm this diagnosis, but here are some things to consider while you wait for your appointment:
It can be caused by poor shoes: Nobody is sure exactly what causes plantar fasciitis, but there are many different things that increase your chances of developing it. Used shoes or badly made shoes with little cushioning or arch support can result in your feet developing this syndrome. Purchasing and using cushioned shoe inserts may temporarily help to alleviate pain or prevent it from getting worse. Once you see your podiatrist, he or she may suggest prescription inserts that will offer better cushioning and support of your feet.
Losing weight may help: If your weight gain is because of pregnancy, your plantar fasciitis may suddenly disappear completely once you have the baby. If you have other types of weight gain, exercise and dieting can obviously help with losing excess pounds. Instead of running or biking as an exercise, you may want to consider trying seated aerobics or swimming. Should neither of these appeal to you, you may want to ask your podiatrist if he or she has any feet-friendly exercises to recommend. You may also want to ask your podiatrist if he or she has any recommendations for dietitians in the area, if you're having trouble finding one who is appropriate for you.
Treatment may be painful before getting better: Some of the main treatments for plantar fasciitis are applying ice and the use of pain relievers. However, your podiatrist should also give you a list of stretching exercises for your feet. These stretches will help to stretch out the ligaments and tendons in question, eventually decreasing inflammation and cramps. Because your foot is already painful, the exercises may, at first, seem to be making the situation worse. Your podiatrist can tell you if this is a reason to stop doing the exercises or if there are alternate stretches that you can perform instead.
Since pain is the most obvious symptom of plantar fasciitis, you may initially have been under the impression that you had a broken bone or bones in your foot. But if went to the ER and your X-rays showed nothing abnormal, the emergency room doctor may simply have advised you to take a few aspirin and stay off your feet for a day or so. If this sounds like you and you haven't already done so, you should make an appointment to see your podiatrist as soon as possible. The sooner your treatment starts, the sooner your feet will feel better.