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Pregnancy and Foot Pain

If you or a family member is expecting a new arrival shortly – congratulations! You are probably taking good care of yourself by eating balanced meals, drinking plenty of water and taking your vitamins. But did you know that your feet need extra pampering too?

You are naturally gaining weight and so your center of gravity changes. This brings added pressure to your feet and knees and results in a new weight-bearing stance. The result could be over-pronation and edema.

Over-Pronation

A condition when the arches flatten and the feet roll inward when walking is called over-pronation. This condition creates inflammation or stress on the plantar fascia, a band of tissue that runs from the heel to the forefoot. Walking can be painful and as a result the calves or back may become strained.

Treating over-pronation will relieve your pain and also prevent more serious conditions like plantar fasciitis, tendonitis, heel spurs or bunions. Custom made orthotics with arch support can help. During pregnancy, wear comfortable, sturdy footwear that fits well and provides shock absorption and extra support.

Edema

Because pregnancy puts extra pressure on the blood vessels in the legs and pelvis, circulation to your lower body slows down. Blood can then pool in the lower extremities, especially the feet, resulting in swelling or edema. You may experience even more swelling from retaining water and also the body’s release of hormones.

Minimize edema in the feet by:

  • Wearing shoes with lots of room and measure feet each time you go shoe shopping
  • Elevate the feet often
  • Wear loose socks without seams
  • Take frequent breaks to stretch the legs while driving
  • Keep up your aerobic exercise program with your doctor’s permission
  • Drink plenty of water to keep hydrated
  • Avoid salty foods

Edema or swelling in the face or hands may signal a serious condition called preeclampsia, or pregnancy-induced hypertension. Call your doctor immediately if you notice this type of swelling.

Visit Our Office if Foot Pain Persists

If your foot pain is not relieved, especially after your baby arrives, call Dr. Stavros O. Alexopoulos, board certified podiatrist for a complete foot exam. We will identify the problem and discuss a customized foot health plan for you. You can reach us at our Chicago office at 773-561-8100 or via the website. Foot pain is not normal even during pregnancy and we can help find a solution right away.