Many of you know the name Ashley Tisdale as a child star from Disney Channel. She was on such shows as Suite Life of Zach and Cody and Phineas and Ferb. She was also in a starring role in the High School Musical movie series. If you, your kids, or your grandkids are around the ages of mine, you’ve seen her plenty.

Now she has moved from child star to mom-to-be, as she and her husband are expecting their first child. On Instagram, she admitted “The worst part so far during this pregnancy is my plantar fasciitis. It literally hurts just to walk on my feet. I’ve never felt pain like this and I’m hoping once the baby is here it lets up. I know there could be worse things but for someone who is constantly on their feet it can be pretty unbearable.”

Even if you don’t know who Ashley Tisdale is, I know many of you can identify with the pain she is feeling. Plantar fasciitis is a common condition associated with pregnancy. That’s because as the baby grows, your feet get more pressure on them. This causes the plantar fascia ligament to pull on the heel bone more. The pulling results in inflammation and pain.

This is bad enough for most people. But it’s even worse when you’re pregnant. There are many treatment options for plantar fasciitis. Unfortunately, many of them cannot be used during pregnancy. That makes it much more difficult to treat in a woman who is expecting.

One of the first-line treatments for plantar fasciitis is to use anti-inflammatory medication. This medication cannot be used during pregnancy, making pain relief difficult. Some might even bristle at using a cortisone injection to calm down the inflammation. 

When confronted with plantar fasciitis during pregnancy, I take a different approach. I focus on decreasing the inflammation by reducing the pull of the plantar fascia. For instance, the use of insoles will help to support the plantar fascia ligament. As the pulling of the ligament is reduced, the inflammation will also likely resolve. The more support you have, the better you'll feel. I don't recommend that you go barefoot or even wear flip-flops or sandals. These shoes are easy to take on and off, but provide no support for your plantar fasciitis. 

Stretches are also helpful when dealing with plantar fasciitis during pregnancy. I recommend rolling your foot on a tennis ball or foam roller before you step out of bed in the morning. In the evening, you should roll your foot over a frozen water bottle. This is done to stretch the plantar fascia ligament. Also, ice is a natural anti-inflammatory and will be useful to calm the inflammation before you go to bed.

You may also want to consider a stretching splint, also known as a night splint. This maintains your foot in a stretched position. It allows your body to repair the inflamed tissue while you sleep. 

Despite having plantar fasciitis during pregnancy, there still are many treatments available. The bottom line is that you don't have to suffer! Whether you're expecting or not, there is a way to manage your heel pain. Contact the office and we'll get you in for an immediate appointment

Dr. Andrew Schneider
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A podiatrist and foot surgeon in Houston, TX.
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