It is common for women to have foot pain while pregnant. Due to the natural weight gain during pregnancy, a woman’s center of gravity can be altered. This causes a new weight bearing stance and added pressure to the knees and feet.
Two of the most common foot problems experienced by pregnant woman are over pronation and edema. These problems can lead to pain at the heel, arch, or the ball of the foot. Many women may also experience leg cramping and varicose veins due to weight gain. It is important for pregnant women to learn more about foot health during their pregnancy to help make the nine month period more comfortable.
What has been found with research is the hormonal roller coaster causes the ligaments to stretch out more. This prevents the bones from being held in ideal alignment. The increased weight and changing center of gravity can cause the feet to over pronate or collapse. Typically, it is not the feet growing, it is they are flattening out more making them longer.
There are effective ways to treat both over pronation and edema during pregnancy. Over pronation can be treated conservatively with orthotics. Proper fitting footwear is also very important. It is important to treat over pronation for pain relief but also to prevent other foot conditions from developing such as plantar fasciitis, heel spurs, metatarsalgia, post tibial tendon dysfunction and bunions.
Edema or swelling in the feet can be minimized by elevating your feet as much as possible and wearing well fitted footwear. Drink plenty of water and eat a well balanced diet to help reduce swelling. If swelling is not symmetrical in both feet, this many be a sign of a vascular problem and a doctor should be contacted immediately.
The best way to counter edema with pregnancy or any edema is graduated compression stockings. These should at minimum go up to cover the entire calf. Complete hose up to the waist helps best but can be cumbersome.