Pregnancy can alter your life in more ways than one. From cravings to hormones, it’s a challenging (yet rewarding) nine months. One of the most frustrating aspects of pregnancy is the foot pain that comes along with it. Let’s look at how you can alleviate foot pain during pregnancy while you wait to welcome your little one!
How to Alleviate Foot Pain During Pregnancy
- Change your shoes
- Wear compression stockings
- Try orthotics
- Move (when you can)
- Practice self-care
Change Your Shoes
Did you know that your feet can grow in size during pregnancy? As a result, foot pain can occur when you ignore the need to shop for new shoes that accommodate this growth. Thanks to fluid retention and an increase in soft tissues, pregnancy can permanently change the size of your feet. The ligaments in the feet can also change while they try to support excess weight. As a result, your feet may become wider and flatter. To deal with this phenomenon and alleviate foot pain, get a proper shoe fitting or shoe stretching (for certain shoe types) if you notice your footwear is feeling a little too tight. The best shoes for pregnancy should have the following features:
- Width options
- Low heels
- Breathable materials
- Sufficient toe box room
- Arch support
- Thick soles
Wear Compression Stockings
Compression stockings provide gentle pressure to the feet and lower legs during pregnancy. Specifically, they boost blood circulation, alleviating foot pain. Triggering blood flow can also be a preventative measure and stop blood clotting and pooling. Compression socks can also prevent varicose veins, which can be very painful.
It’s a common myth that compression socks look unflattering or unfashionable; in fact, they look the same as traditional socks and hosiery and come in various colours and styles. To get a pair of compression stockings or hosiery, you can get a prescription from your family doctor. Then simply come to Feet First Clinic to be measured by our staff.
During pregnancy, you may notice you suddenly have flat feet, whereas before, you had more of a pronounced arch. Luckily, custom orthotics can help correct the abnormal walking patterns you may develop due to flat feet, which will help stabilize your movements. With these corrections, you can avoid additional pain in the lower back, hips and knees. Orthotics will also provide shock absorption, protecting your feet from the ground’s harsh impact. In addition, using orthotics to correct your gait will prevent future pain after you give birth since your feet may not immediately revert to the way they were before pregnancy.
Move (When You Can)
It’s no surprise that pregnancy can make you feel lethargic. But it’s important to perform light stretching exercises as they can do a world of good for your feet! They will strengthen the muscles in your feet and lower legs while improving blood circulation. Some examples include lightly massaging the bottom of your feet with a golf ball or water bottle(see below), or you can perform the calf stretch on a step, which gently stretches the soles and lower legs. Your chiropodist can recommend specific stretches for target muscles, and you can also refer to Feet First Clinic’s Pinterest page for quick and easy routines.
Practice Self Care
Below are some additional ways to alleviate foot pain during pregnancy. Many of them are luxurious, relaxing and fun!
- Enjoy a foot massage
- Self-massage your calves and flex your feet when you experience cramping
- Soak your feet in a warm foot bath to relax your muscles
- Moisturize your feet (rubbing your feet will also boost blood flow)
- Stay hydrated and avoid salty foods to prevent swelling and inflammation
- Try not to stand for long periods without resting