During pregnancy, women experience natural weight gain that can alter their center of gravity. In order to compensate for this change, the body places excess pressure on the foot, leading to heel and arch pain. If you’re expecting, you may have some questions about how your feet will be impacted. Here are four questions that foot doctors often hear on this topic.
4 FAQ on Foot Pain in Pregnancy
What kinds of foot problems can I expect?
The most prevalent foot problems among pregnant women are overpronation and edema. Overpronation is when your foot rolls inward when you step forward, placing stress on the plantar fascia and causing pain when you walk. This is often caused by arch flattening, which is in turn an unfortunate side effect of the weight gain and shift in body positioning that come with pregnancy. Edema typically occurs toward the end of a pregnancy and is characterized by swelling in the feet. During pregnancy, the uterus can become enlarged, putting excess pressure on the blood vessels in the pelvis and legs. This will slow down circulation and cause blood to pool in the feet, leading to discomfort.
How can I increase my comfort?
To manage heel and arch pain from overpronation, ready-made orthotics can be worn to help provide arch support and prevent the feet from turning inward. Seek comfortable, properly fitted footwear with thick soles to boost shock absorption and reduce pain.
To reduce edema, elevating your feet is key, particularly if you’ll need to sit for long periods of time. If you’re out and about or driving, take regular breaks to stretch and improve circulation. Maintaining an exercise routine will also help. Avoid a high-salt diet, as this can cause more water retention, and be sure to stay hydrated.
Is a change in foot size normal?
In addition to heel and arch pain, many women also notice their feet growing larger during pregnancy. This can be caused from excess swelling during pregnancy or it can be a result of the relaxin hormone released during the birth, which can cause feet to spread. This change is often temporary, but it can sometimes be a permanent growth of up to half a shoe size.
When should I see a foot doctor?
If you have persistent heel and arch pain during pregnancy, that’s a sign it’s time to visit your foot doctor. A professional podiatrist can provide a range of treatments to offer relief, from physical therapy to orthotics.
If you’re experiencing heel and arch pain or any other foot problems during pregnancy, trust in Progressive Foot Care to help. Conveniently located in Midtown Manhattan, NY, this licensed podiatry team is dedicated to giving patients accurate diagnoses and outstanding treatments, including onsite physical therapy, to get them back on their feet. To speak with a foot doctor today, give them a call at (212) 244-7670 or visit them online. Watch their video to learn more about how they’ll help you.