When a woman is pregnant, her body will undergo many changes and endure quite a bit of stress. Through the normal, healthy pregnancy process, a woman will experience weight gain, and this added weight puts a good deal of pressure on other parts of the body, especially the feet. Swollen ankles and foot pain are common complaints during pregnancy.
Many women will complain that their feet hurt throughout their pregnancy. This is very common because women’s feet swell and must bear added weight gain. There will be a strain on the arches of her feet, which may flatten, leading to pronation. Pronating or rolling inward while walking places stress on the plantar fascia ligaments. This condition leads to the development of plantar fasciitis.
What Is Plantar Fasciitis?
Plantar fasciitis is a medical condition where strain is placed on the plantar fascia ligament causing heel pain. The sudden and rapid weight gain strains the foot’s arch during pregnancy and causes tiny rips and tears to the plantar fascia. If left unchecked and untreated, the tears could turn into heel spurs. These tears turn into inflammation and pain, and it is essential to see an experienced physician discuss this pain.
When plantar fasciitis develops during pregnancy in many women’s feet, it can be challenging to eliminate after giving birth. A woman may be dealing with collapsed or “fallen” arches, severe irritation, and ligament laxity. These all contribute to plantar fasciitis, and a new mother may need to work with a physical therapist to return her to a regular walking and standing style.
Heel Pain from Plantar Fasciitis and Pregnancy
Heel spurs are sharp calcium deposits on the bone resulting from strain and damage to the plantar fascia ligament. These deposits work their way into the pad of your heel and cause pain. A pregnant woman may experience plantar fasciitis during pregnancy and may continue postpartum.
Although it is common to experience foot pain and soreness throughout your pregnancy due to the added weight of the baby, moms-to-be should pay close attention to the types of pain they are experiencing and their locations. If you are not pain-free within a day or two of the onset of soreness, you may need to consult a doctor. Pain that worsens in the morning or is focused on your heel may require medical attention.
How to Treat Foot Pain from Pregnancy-Based Plantar Fasciitis
When a woman becomes pregnant, there is an expectation that she will experience a wide variety of aches, pains, and soreness. In most cases, most of these issues will dissipate postpartum. However, some medical conditions may remain long after the baby is born and the baby’s weight has been lost. Plantar fasciitis is one such issue.
Plantar fasciitis may develop, and many women may not know the difference between normal foot pain from pregnancy and pain related to the condition’s onset. If your feet hurt with constant aching but there is no swelling, you may be in the early stages of plantar fasciitis. Heel spurs will continue to be painful and bring discomfort in your everyday life if not taken care of throughout the pregnancy.
So, what can women do to treat their foot pain and ensure that the condition will not lead to worse issues such as ankle injuries or instability? Here are some treatments that will help to relieve your pain and prevent plantar fasciitis from overtaking your life:
- Put your feet up! As a mother-to-be, your body constantly works to bring life into the world for nine consecutive months. Give yourself a break and relax.
- Avoid standing still for extended periods. It is more strenuous on your arches than to walk on them to stand for a while.
- Get a foot massage. Whether your partner provides the massage, you can do self-massage, or you invest in a massage from a pregnancy specialist, it can be an excellent way to relieve short-term pain and contribute to long-term healing.
- Wear supportive shoes. Every day we wear shoes to go out in the world, and we often do not consider how the shoes we wear impact our foot health. Pregnant women are highly recommended to avoid wearing high heels and invest in orthotic shoe inserts to help with foot and ankle pain. Also, consider your swollen ankles and feet when making the shoe purchase. You may need to size up to give your feet plenty of room. Wear flip-flops at home to let your feet breathe and stretch.
- Invest in physical therapy and stretching exercises to keep your feet limber and healthy. Stretching out your feet, calf muscles, ligaments, and other areas will ensure that the soreness is kept at a minimum throughout your whole body. You may also find that your left foot is tighter or looser than your right, so give an extra stretch for the tighter side.
- Reduce inflammation and pain by icing your feet often. There are specific icing products designed to treat plantar fasciitis, so consult your doctor about which options suit you.
- Visit our foot and ankle specialists at Rogers Foot & Ankle Institute to discuss your concerns and learn how to keep your feet healthy even with the increased stress and pressure from pregnancy.
Contact our Foot Specialists in Saratoga Springs, UT
If you are pregnant and you have been experiencing severe pain in your feet, especially the heels, you may be suffering from the onset of plantar fasciitis. It is best to take care of the issue as soon as possible, rather than in the later stages of pregnancy, to ensure that the pain does not continue well after birth. Contact Rogers Foot & Ankle Institute at 801-756-4200 today to learn more about plantar fasciitis and pregnancy.