Foot Pain During Pregnancy

Foot Pain During Pregnancy

Body changes come as a part of pregnancy as your body is at work full-time to provide for a baby growing inside you. This means that you get to put up with a whole lot of symptoms ranging from that infamous morning sickness to a severe ache in your foot, paired with swelling, which may easily prevent you from comfortably engaging in daily tasks.

A constant pain in the foot during pregnancy can make it difficult for you to stand, walk or even put a little bit of pressure on them for too long. While there isn’t much you can do to prevent it from happening altogether, there are various methods to alleviate that pain and get some much-needed relief. However, a habit of regular exercise can be the ideal way to fight foot pain that is common during pregnancy.

Causes of Foot Pain in Pregnancy

Some of the common causes of foot pain during pregnancy can be attributed to the following.

  • Natural weight gain can put pressure on your feet and your ligaments near the arch of your feet making your feet hurt.
  • The centre of gravity in your body shifts as a result of the weight of the growing baby. This will require you to change the position and the posture that you stand-in, causing undue stress on your feet.
  • You may get a wider gait due to the extra weight. This can strain the muscles on your feet.
  • Increased blood volume during pregnancy can also cause cramps in the feet.
  • Tight shoes or shoes of incorrect size can cause stress to your feet and may also cause ingrown nails that contribute to foot pain

Woman having foot pain due to heels

Most Common Foot Related Problems When Pregnant

  1. Oedema

Oedema is a condition where there is noticeable swelling in the foot of pregnant women and is usually the common cause of foot pain during pregnancy in the second trimester.

As baby grows and the uterus expands to accommodate this growth, there is increased pressure on the blood vessels in the pelvic area. This results in a decrease in the rate of blood flow and the accumulation of blood in the feet, making your feet swell.

It is also possible for your feet to swell due to excess water retention in the body, which may appear like purple marks. As oedema can make it difficult for you to move about, it is best to consult a doctor if the discomfort is too much to bear.

  1. Over-Pronation

Over-pronation is also known as flat feet and is caused by the excessive pressure on the foot. The arch of the foot can flatten out due to weight gain during pregnancy and add pressure on the plantar fascia, which are the tissues that connect the heel to the front of the foot.

Over-pronation can lead to added stress on your back as well as the calf muscles.

Remedies to Relieve Pregnancy Foot Pain

Although, pain in the feet is one of the symptoms of pregnancy, there are many remedies for foot pain during pregnancy that can help you walk and stand easy.

  1. Take the help of orthotics. You can have these inserted in your footwear to provide support to your foot arch and prevent it from flattening out.
  2. Always ensure to wear the right shoes that offer supper and are comfortable. Do not wear shoes that are too tight and cramp up your toes. As these can also cause ingrown nails contributing to your pain.
  3. Try and put your feet up whenever you sit down to facilitate blood flow. This can prevent oedema.
  4. Rotate your ankles, one at a time to improve blood circulation. This can also help in the case of foot cramps.
  5. Keep yourself hydrated. Drink plenty of water as dehydration can worsen swelling and increase water retention.
  6. Consume a balanced diet and avoid excess salt as it can contribute to water retention.
  7. Apply olive oil and massage your foot or book a foot massage to relieve the pain. You can also try hot oil massage for effective pain relief.
  8. Use cotton socks and ensure to avoid socks with seams to facilitate circulation.
  9. Try compression stockings. These are known to mimic the act of squeezing facilitating blood flow from the feet. Edema lowers the efficiency of your body in pumping blood up from your feet, these stockings help facilitate contraction of the muscles near the veins in the leg, forcing the blood to move up.
  10. Use a bag of ice to relieve the pain if you are experiencing excess pain.
  11. Mix a cup of salt or Epsom salt with water in a wide mouthed vessel and place your feet in it for 15 to 20 minutes.

Pregnant woman getting foot massage

Your foot is going to receive a lot of strain due to all that weight you will be carrying in the later part of your pregnancy. Although foot pain in early pregnancy is not very common, it is advised to take precautions to lower the chances of excessive discomfort. A regimen of daily exercise and a proper diet should help you stay clear of intense pain in the foot.

It can also be of great help to keep in mind RICE – Rest, Ice, Compress and Elevate as a trick to cope with foot pain during pregnancy. In any event where you find that the pain is too much to go about your daily activities, then you will need to consult your doctor immediately for medical help. You can also discuss with your doctor about the best ways to relieve foot pain at home well ahead of time. 

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