Pregnancy and Foot Pain


Expecting a child is an exciting time for most women but there are also many physical changes occurring in a short period time and this can cause discomfort. Pregnancy and foot pain is one of the most frequent complaints that develop during this time.

There are many good reasons why foot pain increases during the gestation period, and weight gain is the most obvious culprit. But it’s not just the additional weight that causes problems; it the conditions that weight gain can create that can make the situation worse as well. For instance, it’s very common for pregnant women to experience flat feet, over-pronation of the feet or supination of the feet, as well as a change in their center of gravity, all of which can cause significant pain. The expanding uterus puts blood vessels in the pelvis and legs under even more pressure, which impedes circulation and causes blood pooling in the lower legs and the feet.

While fluid levels in the system remain constant they become displaced and tend to collect in the lower regions of the body, such as the feet. Edema of the feet can cause a purplish discoloration and intense discomfort.

Flat feet leading to over-pronation and swelling of the feet are the two most common complaints with pregnancy and foot pain. When the feet flatten out from weight gain and changes occur in muscle composition the feet will often begin to roll inward, which can lead to calf muscle strain and plantar fasciitis, so care should be taken with any foot pain issues that develop over the course of the pregnancy, as this condition is more than just uncomfortable. Varicose veins and leg and foot cramps may also develop or increase in severity.

There are several treatment and prevention options when it comes to pregnancy and foot pain. Over-pronation of the feet can easily be treated with foot orthotics that provide adequate arch support, and a heel post should be added to the back of the shoe to maintain correct foot position and alignment. Shoes should provide adequate support and cushioning. By preventing or correcting over-pronation several foot conditions can be avoided, such as plantar fasciitis, heel spurs, tendonitis, bunions, and metatarsalgia.

Swelling in the feet may be harder to eliminate but it can be eased and the discomfort of edema due to pregnancy can be reduced. Elevating the feet regularly, especially if you must sit for long periods of time, is absolutely essential to reduce swelling and discomfort. Monitor your feet for an increase in size throughout your pregnancy and adjust your footwear accordingly. Ask your doctor for pregnancy-approved exercises that will help improve your circulation and be sure to drink enough water—this will reduce the amount of excess fluids that your body retains, as will reducing the amount of salt that you consume.

When it comes to pregnancy and foot pain both feet are usually affected; if you notice swelling in only one foot speak to your doctor, as this can be an indication of vascular distress. By following a few simple steps and closely monitoring your situation for changes pregnancy and foot pain don’t have to go hand in hand; you can enjoy your pregnancy and safeguard your health at the same time!

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