“Oh my aching feet” is a phrase heard frequently in our practice from pregnant patients. Many believe their sore feet are a symptom they just must deal with during their pregnancy. But, the good news is, there are many remedies available to help alleviate foot pain.
If you are pregnant, our office offers the following tips to help keep your feet more comfortable.
- Painful, swollen feet.
- Pregnant women often experience throbbing, swollen feet due to excess fluid build up (edema) in the feet from the weight and position of the baby. To reduce swelling, put feet up whenever possible, stretch legs frequently, wear wide comfortable shoes and don’t cross legs when sitting.
- Arch pain.
- Pain in the arch can be due to both arch fatigue and over-pronation (or the flattening of the arch). Over-pronation causes extreme stress to the ligament (the plantar fascia) that holds up the arch of the foot. The best way to prevent arch pain is to perform calf stretches in the morning and before and after any exercise, don’t walk barefoot, and wear supportive low-heeled shoes.
- Ingrown toenails
- Excessive stress from tightly-fitting shoes causes painful ingrown toenails. Give your feet a break: wear wider shoes during the last trimester of pregnancy to prevent ingrown toenails. If you do experience an ingrown toenail, avoid attempting “bathroom surgery.” Repeated cutting of the nail can cause the condition to worsen over time. It is best to seek treatment at our office.
Don’t worry if you’ve noticed a change in your foot size during your pregnancy. Permanent growth of a woman’s foot, up to a half a size, can occur from the release of the same hormone, relaxin, that allows the pelvis to open to deliver the baby. It makes the ligaments in your feet more flexible, causing feet to spread wider and longer.
Pending motherhood should be a joy. If foot pain persists, a visit to our office can provide relief with conservative treatments such as physical therapy, foot orthotics, supportive shoes and minor toenail procedures.