sickle cell disease, an inherited condition, have
blood cells that can change form, turning from round into a "sickle" or
Sickled cells can block the blood supply to parts of the body and cause pain.
This pain, mild to severe, can last from hours to days. "Painful event" or
"painful crisis" are the terms used to describe these episodes. Some people who
have sickle cell disease have many painful events, while others have few or
Painful events can affect any part of the body, but the
most common areas include the:
If you look at an adult foot from the inside, you'll usually notice an upward curve in the middle. This is called an arch. Tendons -- tight bands that attach at the heel and foot bones -- form the arch. Several tendons in your foot and lower leg work together to form the arches in your foot.
When the tendons all pull the proper amount, then your foot forms a moderate, normal arch. When tendons do not pull together properly, there is little or no arch. This is called flat foot or fallen arch.
It isn't always possible to know what sets off a painful
event, but triggers include
dehydration, cold temperatures, infection, stress, and
low oxygen intake.
You can help avoid painful events by drinking
plenty of fluids, especially before, during, and after exercise or strenuous
activity and when you have a fever or infection. If possible, try to stay out
of chilly weather or situations where you might become cold.
can also prepare for a painful episode in advance by creating a pain management
plan with your doctor. This plan should include not only the types of medicines
you can take at home but also other actions you can take at home to relieve
pain. Pain medicine may include either
over-the-counter items, such as ibuprofen, or stronger
medicine prescribed by your doctor. Also, know when it’s best to call for
medical help or go to a hospital. Some painful episodes may need
IV therapy for fluids and powerful pain medicines,
such as morphine, to ease the pain.
Primary Medical Reviewer
E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer
Martin Steinberg, MD - Hematology
October 7, 2010
WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise
October 07, 2010
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor.
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