11 June 2020
There are many joys of pregnancy - from feeling your baby moving inside you to the excitement of meeting your new arrival. However, there are also many unwanted and uncomfortable side effects that expectant mothers experience. One common symptom is sore feet. Let's examine the causes and some remedies to help alleviate foot pain during pregnancy.
Foot pain during pregnancy is a widespread complaint. The reasons for this are numerous.
Arch pain is mainly due to flattening of the arch (overpronation), which causes extreme stress to the plantar fascia - the ligament that supports the arch.
To relieve arch pain:
1: Stretch your feet every morning, and before and after exercise, especially if you go jogging or for long walks
2: Always wear low-heeled shoes that support your arches
3: Don't spend too much time barefoot
Many pregnant women experience sore, swollen feet and ankles. Swelling is due to excess fluid build-up (edema) occurring all over the body, including the feet and ankles. Swelling makes wearing shoes uncomfortable and increases pressure on the feet, especially when standing for extended periods. Edema is one of the main causes foot pain during pregnancy.
To reduce swelling:
1: Try not to be on your feet for more than a few hours at a time
2: Lay down with your feet raised on a support
3: Take frequent leg stretch breaks if you are sitting for extended periods
4: Wear comfortable shoes that allow for the swelling
5: Sit with your legs uncrossed
6: Stay hydrated
Pressure on the toes caused by tightly fitting shoes can result in painful ingrown toenails.
To remedy ingrown toenails:
1: Wear wide shoes that do not squash your toes
2: Don't attempt to remove the nail yourself as you can make the issue worse. Seek treatment from a professional podiatrist.
Some women experience an increase in foot size due to pregnancy. The hormone relaxin causes the ligaments to stretch, and the foot to widen permanently. If this happens, your shoes will be too small and cause unnecessary pressure, and even ingrown toenails, resulting in much. Get your feet measured if you suspect this has happened so that you can wear the correct sized shoes.
You will often experience foot pain during pregnancy due to the sudden increase in weight your feet are carrying around. Just like your muscles feel sore after a workout, your feet can feel sore after they carry extra weight for hours at a time.
Give your feet a break by wearing comfortable shoes, getting a foot massage (ensure the therapist is qualified to treat pregnant women), and putting them up as often as you can. After all, you are growing another person - relax and enjoy your pregnancy as fully as possible.
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