That special glow. A giant belly. Back pain, morning sickness, insomnia, etc. We are all aware of the most common physical changes that are associated with pregnancy. But, what about the effects pregnancy may have on the old reliable, perpetually overlooked body part - your feet? Not surprisingly, complaints of foot pain are common during pregnancy, but the good news is that they can usually be avoided with just a few small changes. (And if not, hey, it only lasts 9 months, right? Just kidding!)
As you may already know, pregnancy causes an increase in weight gain and with it, a new weight-bearing stance. But, did you also know that pregnancy tends to widen a woman’s gait, shift her center of body weight forward and cause a relaxation of the ligaments in her body? These factors contribute to the most common foot complaints from pregnant women: arch and heel pain caused by a flattening of the foot (over-pronation). This flattening causes a “tugging” on the muscles and ligaments on the bottom of the foot. It is normal for your feet to flatten a little, but too much can lead to the very painful condition, plantar fasciitis (arch and heel pain).
The most important, and easiest, thing you can do to prevent foot pain during pregnancy is to wear stable, properly fitting shoes. You should find shoes that will be comfortable throughout your pregnancy, even if your feet swell. If that isn’t enough, you can turn to over the counter arch supports for a little extra support. Even though these arch supports are over the counter, they are not “one size fits all”! Factors like your foot type, foot shape, activity and footwear are all important to finding the right arch support. In the event that you still need more support to alleviate your foot pain, you should go see a podiatrist about getting custom prescription orthotics. The shoe fitting specialists at SHOES-n-FEET can help with finding the right shoes and if necessary, matching you with the perfect arch supports for your pregnancy.
With all of the other changes going on with your body during pregnancy, your feet may not seem like your number one priority. But when you think about how little effort is necessary, and how much pain you could be avoiding, keeping your feet in tip-top shape is definitely worth it!
Did you have foot pain associated with pregnancy? What did you do to take care of it? Leave your story in the comments section below!