Avoid Foot Pain During Pregnancy

Photograph of foot swelling during pregnancy

Many pregnant women believe sore feet are just a side effect of pregnancy, but this is not the case. If you are pregnant, follow these simple tips to help alleviate foot pain and keep your feet more comfortable.

Reduce Swelling

Excess fluid buildup (edema) from the baby’s weight and position can make your feet throb and swell. To reduce painful swelling, elevate your feet whenever possible, stretch your legs frequently, wear wide, comfortable shoes and do not cross legs when sitting.

Prevent Arch Pain

Fatigue and flattening of the arch (overpronation) can cause pain in the ligament that holds up the arch of the foot. Prevent arch pain by stretching your calves in the morning and before and after any exercise, do not walk barefoot and be sure to wear supportive low-heeled shoes.

Wear Wider Shoes

Your shoe size can increase during pregnancy thanks to the hormone relaxin, which allows the pelvis to open to deliver the baby. This hormone makes the ligaments in your feet more flexible, causing feet to spread wider and longer and shoes to tighten. Tightly fitting shoes can lead to ingrown toenails, so it is best to wear wider shoes during the last trimester to help prevent this often painful condition. If you have an ingrown toenail, do not perform “bathroom surgery.” Repeated cutting of the nail can worsen over time.

If foot pain persists during your pregnancy, visit your foot and ankle surgeon’s office to discuss conservative treatments, such as physical therapy, orthotics, supportive shoes and minor toenail procedures.

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