Pregnancy & Your Feet

Pregnancy triggers many different changes in a woman’s body. Many women have common complaints throughout their pregnancy. One of these complaints, often overlooked, is foot pain. Due to the natural weight gain during pregnancy, a woman’s center of gravity is completely altered. This causes a new weight-bearing stance and added pressure to the knees and feet. Two of the most common foot problems experienced by pregnant woman are over- pronation and edema. These problems can lead to pain at the heel, arch, or the ball-of-foot. Many women may also experience leg cramping and varicose veins due to weight gain. Because of this, it is important for all pregnant women to learn more about foot health during their pregnancy to help make this nine month period more comfortable for them.

over-pronation

Over-pronation and edema a very common foot problem experienced during pregnancy. Over-Pronation, also referred to as flat feet, is caused when a person’s arch flattens out upon weight bearing and their feet roll inward when walking. This can create extreme stress or inflammation on the plantar fascia, the fibrous band of tissue that runs from the heel to the forefoot. Over-pronation can make walking very painful and can increase strain on the feet, calves and/or back. The reason many pregnant women suffer from over-pronation is the added pressure on the body as a result of weight gain. Over-pronation is also very prominent in people who have flexible, flat feet or in people who are obese.

edema

Edema, also referred to as swelling in the feet, normally occurs in the latter part of pregnancy. Edema results from the extra blood accumulated during pregnancy. The enlarging uterus puts pressure on the blood vessels in the pelvis and legs causing circulation to slow down and blood to pool in the lower extremities. The total water fluid in the body remains the same as before pregnancy, however it becomes displaced. When feet are swollen, they can become purplish in color. Sometimes extra water is retained during pregnancy, adding to the swelling. If there is swelling in the face or hands, a doctor should be contacted immediately.

orthotics-W

There are effective ways to treat both over-pronation and edema during pregnancy. Over-Pronation can be treated conservatively with “ready-made” orthotics or sandals/flip-slops with added arch support. These orthotics/footwear should be designed with appropriate arch support and medial rearfoot posting to correct the over-pronation. Proper fitting footwear is also very important in treating over-pronation. Choose comfortable footwear that provides extra support and shock absorption. It is important to treat over-pronation for pain relief but also to prevent other foot conditions from developing such as Plantar Fasciitis, Heel Spurs, Metatarsalgia, Post-Tib Tendonitis and/or Bunions.

elevate-feet

Edema in the feet can be minimized by the following methods: Elevate your feet as often as possible. If you have to sit for long periods of time, place a small stool by your feet to elevate them. Wear proper fitting footwear. Footwear that is too narrow or short will constrict circulation. Have your feet measured several times throughout your pregnancy. They will probably change sizes. Wear seamless socks that do not constrict circulation. If you are driving for a long period of time, take regular breaks to stretch your legs to promote circulation. Exercise regularly to promote overall health; walking is the best exercise. Drink plenty of water to keep the body hydrated. This helps the body retain less fluid. Eat a well-balanced diet and avoid foods high in salt that can cause water retention. Swelling is normally similar in both feet. If swelling is not symmetrical in both feet, this may be a sign of a vascular problem and a doctor should be contacted immediately.

womens-sandals

Since the weather is warming and sandals and flip flops are easy shoes for pregnant women to wear during pregnancy, it is important to select footwear with the proper support. Aetrex makes a few great sandal lines that can help keep your feet supported, comfortable and looking cute this spring and summer. Click on the links below to learn more.

Women’s Lynco Flips

Women’s Sandals

DISCLAIMER:  The information contained on this site is not provided by medical professionals and is provided for informational purposes only.  The information on this site is not meant to substitute consulting with your podiatrist, doctor or other health care professional. The information available on or through this site is in no way intended to diagnose, influence treatment or cure any foot or other health problems nor is it a substitute for the services or advice of a podiatrist, physician, or health professional.  You should always consult a physician licensed in your state in all matters relating to your health.

Cold Feet Can Be A Sign Of Something Serious

The thyroid gland is a small, butterfly-shaped gland that sits just below the thyroid cartilage. The thyroid can increase energy, warm your body and activate your immune system when necessary. If the thyroid is not functioning properly, the body can suffer a host of issues that can lead to serious health conditions.

Cold Hands & Feet: Cold hands & feet often indicate a lack of blood flow. Homocysteine is an amino acid associated with heart disease, poor blood flow, and stiff vasculature. Low thyroid activity can be associated with too much homocysteine. Asa result, the essential nutrients carried in the blood do not reach the extremities as frequently. Lack of blood flow to the extremities, like your hands and feet, can also show up as chronic fungal infections.

Immunity: If your thyroid is underactive, you are more likely to get sick often. If you are frequently getting colds and having a hard time shaking them, this could be an indication that your thyroid needs some support.

Edema: Swelling of the body can be an indication of an underactive thyroid. When related to the thyroid, this is called myxedema. Myxedema is swelling of the arms, legs, and face. When you press your finger into the flesh, and it bounces right back and leaves no mark.

If you suspect you may have an underactive thyroid, it is important to seek guidance from your doctor. They can do blood work to confirm if you have any issues and then recommend a course of action from there. If you do have an underactive thyroid, it is important to properly nourish your body. Foods that can help support your thyroid are coconut oil, fermented vegetables, sea salt and sea vegetables.

DISCLAIMER:  The information contained on this site is not provided by medical professionals and is provided for informational purposes only.  The information on this site is not meant to substitute consulting with your podiatrist, doctor or other health care professional. The information available on or through this site is in no way intended to diagnose, influence treatment or cure any foot or other health problems nor is it a substitute for the services or advice of a podiatrist, physician, or health professional.  You should always consult a physician licensed in your state in all matters relating to your health.

Sore Feet Can Indicate Something More Serious

Most of us experience sore feet from time to time. Most of the time, it is simply from walking, standing or overuse of our feet for an extended time. However, it’s important to know that recurring sore feet can be a sign of something more serious. Here are a few of the health conditions associated with sore feet. Should you suspect you may be experiencing any of these conditions, please consult your medical professional as soon as possible.

Gout

The National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases notes that gout pain is caused by uric acid crystals that are deposited in joints and other areas, specifically your big toe. Typically, the pain and discomfort subsides after about 10 days on its own.

Some of the common triggers for a gout attack include: joint injury, infection, chemotherapy, crash diets/fasting, excess alcohol consumption, eating large portions of foods high in purine such as red meat or shellfish, dehydration and sweet sodas.

Nerve Damage

The Mayo Clinic lists peripheral neuropathy as one of the possible causes of painful/sore feet. This condition can cause weakness and numbness in your feet and burning or stabbing pain, and can be caused by traumatic injuries, infections or exposure to toxins.

Individuals with Diabetes can also experience numbness or tingling in the feet. If you suspect you may have Diabetes, it is extremely important to immediately contact your medical professional for testing.

Soft Tissue Tumors

According to Podiatry Today, “Soft tissue tumors may often be overlooked or mistaken as “simple lesions.” For example, ganglion cysts occur so frequently in the foot and ankle that it has often led to the careless assumption that every asymptomatic, soft, movable mass represents a benign lesion…Although rare, some “simple lesions” may actually represent a malignant process that goes undiagnosed until skeletal metastasis occurs or amputation is required.”

If you examine your feet and find any unusual bumps or lumps, it may be in your best interest to get a thorough examination to rule out cancer.

Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD)

About 8 million Americans have peripheral arterial disease (PAD), according to the American Heart Association. In PAD, a fatty substance called plaque that builds up in the arteries in your legs, reducing the flow of blood to your lower legs and feet.

PAD can cause the muscles in your calves and other parts of your legs to cramp when moving. This condition can also lead to foot pain and poorly healed foot wounds. This disease is also associated with hidden damage to the heart and brain — which places those with PAD at much higher risk of heart attack and stroke.

Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) develops when the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks your joints, causing them to become painful and swollen. The symptoms of RA can include extreme foot pain. When caused by RA, the pain usually begins in your toes and later spreads to the rest of your feet and ankles. Over time, the joint damage caused by RA can eventually change the shape of your toes and feet. Foot pain can be one of the first symptoms of RA. If you suspect you may have RA, a medical professional may recommend medications, exercise and, in some cases, surgery.

So, if you find your feet are constantly nagging you, consider getting an evaluation by a professional to rule out something more serious. Your feet will thank you!

DISCLAIMER:  The information contained on this site is not provided by medical professionals and is provided for informational purposes only.  The information on this site is not meant to substitute consulting with your podiatrist, doctor or other health care professional. The information available on or through this site is in no way intended to diagnose, influence treatment or cure any foot or other health problems nor is it a substitute for the services or advice of a podiatrist, physician, or health professional.  You should always consult a physician licensed in your state in all matters relating to your health.