Expecting a baby is an exciting and joyous time in a woman’s life, but at Texas Foot Specialists we find that her feet are not always in full agreement about this! During pregnancy hormonal changes, weight gain and other changes going on in the body can have a painful effect on your feet. Below are 3 foot and ankle problems that are more prevalent during pregnancy and what to do to minimize the discomfort.
- Arch or Heel Pain—extra weight gained during pregnancy can put a strain on the arch of the foot causing it to flatten somewhat (known as overpronation). When this occurs, it can cause inflammation of the plantar fascia—the ligament that supports the arch. This can result in pain in the heel and stabbing pain in the arch of the foot—both of which may be worse when you first get up in the morning or after you’ve been sitting for a while. To counteract overpronation, wear shoes with good arch support and low heels. Avoid going barefoot and stretch your foot in the morning and before and after any exercise.
- Edema—this fancy term for swelling is something many pregnant women experience in their ankles and feet. There’s a lot of excess fluid in your body at this time and when it builds up or pools in your lower extremities, it can actually start to throb and be quite painful. Try to put your feet up several times during the course of the day and avoid crossing your legs when sitting. Also, though it sounds counter-intuitive, drink plenty of water. It will help flush excess fluid from your body.
- Ingrown Toenails—it’s not uncommon for women’s feet to grow during pregnancy. This is due to the hormone, relaxin, that loosens up all the ligaments in your body to prepare your pelvis for birth. But for your feet, it can cause a size increase, which may be permanent even after giving birth. If you continue to wear your regular shoes, the squeezing together of the toes can make an ingrown nail more likely. If this occurs, let one of our podiatrists, Dr. Gregory Mangum or Dr. Bruce Miller, take a look and help remedy it. Trying to dig it out on your own is never a good idea and especially not when it’s difficult to maneuver and see your feet.
If you experience any of these issues while pregnant, don’t hesitate to contact our Houston (713) 664-6677, Sugar Land (281) 242-4448 or Pasadena (281) 991-0600 office for an appointment.