March 1, 2021: Caring for your feet and back during pregnancy
How do you care for your feet during pregnancy?
At Maidenhead Podiatry & Chiropractic Clinic we find foot and back care during pregnancy is often overlooked with treatment only being sought towards the end of term, and frequently only because backs seize up or feet can no longer be reached.
Our Chiropractors have a special interest in back and skeletal issues associated with pregnancy. This includes pre and post-partum.
Many changes occur during pregnancy but with forethought and planning they can be anticipated and managed as well as possible during this wonderful time.
Pregnancy means many changes in a woman’s body and there are common changes that develop over the nine month term.
Of these complaints, usually ignored, are changes to back, feet and foot pain.
A woman’s centre of gravity moves forward during pregnancy due to the natural weight gain. This leads to a new weight-bearing stance, leaning backwards to counter-balance the swelling abdomen, adding pressure in the back, knees and feet.
Back and foot care during this period is important and sometimes something as simple as exercises or a set of orthotics – specialist insoles – can bring relief and make life easier.
What are some of the common problems?
Common foot problems experienced by pregnant woman are over-pronation (rolling the foot inwards), oedema (swelling), and the build up of hard skin (callous) or corns as a direct consequence of increased pressure and friction.
This can lead to back an hip pain as well as pain in the heel, inner arch, or the ball-of-the-foot.
Many of these issues can be well managed at home with exercise, stretching and basic foot care. But sometimes it is best to seek the advice and treatment of a professional.
The roll of hormones
Relaxin is a hormone produced during pregnancy by the ovaries and placenta with important effects in the female reproductive system in preparation for childbirth, including relaxing the ligaments in the pelvis to facilitate birth.
This can increase back and hip pain leading to discomfort and soreness with standing and walking. Something our Chiropractors are familiar with and can provide comprehensive advice on treatment and management.
Relaxin also relaxes ligaments in the feet contributing to changes including pain and broadening of the foot. Changes to the shape of the feet during pregnancy are often permanent. Speak to one of our Podiatrists about managing foot pain.
Many women may also experience leg cramping and varicose veins largely due to the temporary weight gain of pregnancy.
Because of this, it is important to learn more about back and foot health during pregnancy to help make this nine month period more comfortable.