Common Foot Problems
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While the joy of motherhood may be one of life’s most precious gifts, expectant mothers have to endure the rigors of pregnancy before they can experience baby bliss. As a women’s waistline expands, healthy weight gain during pregnancy can alter one’s center of gravity causing a sway-backed posture called lordosis. This new posture, coupled with weight gain, can create pressure on the knees, legs and feet. Some of the most common lower-extremity ailments mothers-to-be may face are swollen feet, over pronation (commonly called flat feet) and cramps in the legs and feet. Podiatrists specialize in the treatment of foot and ankle problems and can help patients who are experiencing symptoms from these conditions.


Swollen Feet / Increased Foot Size

Hormones released to increase the flexibility of the birth canal can also have an effect on your feet and this increase in foot size can sometimes be permanent after pregnancy. Usually during third trimester of pregnancy, extra blood will accumulates in your legs due to the weight and position of the baby in the womb. Excess fluid will collects in the tissues of your feet called edema.

Try putting waist-high maternity support stockings on before you get out of bed in the morning so blood doesn't have a chance to pool around your ankles. These stocking are available from your local podiatrist. In addition to the compression stockings, put your feet up whenever possible to help aid in limiting the amount of fluid that collects in your feet.


Foot & Leg Cramps

Increased blood volume during pregnancy, and the high progesterone levels relax your blood vessels to prevent high blood pressure. Relaxed and slack vessels can slow down your circulation. Increased weight in your pelvic area can also compress veins, further reducing circulation to your feet.

 Eating a healthy balanced diet will prevent vitamin and mineral deficiencies. Stretch your calves often and wear supportive shoes. Try walking the cramp out as well as increasing the circulation to your feet by rotating your ankles 10 times to the right, then to the left. Switch legs and repeat.


Ingrown Toenails

Improper trimming of the nails in combination with generalized foot swelling and tight-fitting shoes can lead to pain, redness, swelling, and drainage around the nail.

Avoid tight-fitting shoes and socks and inspect your toe-nails daily. Be sure to trim your nails straight across using toenail clippers, making sure not to round out the edges. Visit a podiatrist at the first sign of a problem to see what treatment may be necessary. Click here to learn more about permanently removing an ingrown toenail.


Plantar Fasciitis / Flat Feet

Due to the increased body weight of pregnancy, your feet can roll inward (over-pronation) as you walk, causing your archs to flatten out. This can lead to extreme stress on the plantar fascia, which is the fibrous band of tissue that runs from your heel to your toes. As a result, the heel or arch of your foot can become inflamed and very painful, particularly first thing in the morning.

The over-the-counter inserts and custom orthotics from our office are designed with the appropriate arch support and medial rearfoot posting to correct over-pronation. Choose a comfortable walking shoe that offers more shock absorption as well as more support to your feet.