During and after pregnancy many women notice changes in their feet.
No, this is not your imagination. Pregnancy has been shown to be associated with permanent foot changes. The arch drops, and there is a loss in rigidity. There is a also an increase in foot length. In a nutshell your feet get bigger.
This has been shown to increase the likelihood of musculoskeletal issues in post-partum people.
The bases that we have been standing and walking on for years have all of a sudden changed. Our North Oakville Physiotherapists and Chiropodists (foot specialists) see may of these people experiencing arch pain, pain at the ball of the foot, and heel pain. We also see women complain of knee pain that wasn’t there before and hip pain. If there were these issues prior, they may even be worse.
There is nothing that can be done to prevent these changes. BUT, we can offer these structures support. During pregnancy, our bodies produce relaxin this is to help accommodate changes and shifts in the pelvis to prepare for birth. The body continues to produce this hormone for those who continue with breastfeeding.
Wearing supportive footwear even in the house will help support the arch and prevent the ligaments from stretching. Adding arch strengthening exercises to allow the muscles to provide support to the ligaments is helpful. Strengthening the hip and large leg muscles may also be helpful for control from above and shock absorption.
Don’t make the mistake of squishing your larger feet into your old shoes. This can make us grip out toes and walk differently. It may increase the progression of things like bunions and hammer toes as well. There is also an increased possibility of bruised and ingrown toenails with wearing shoes that are too small.
Custom orthotics can also be helpful to help support the changing foot structure.
Our North Oakville Chiropodists and Physiotherapists are happy to help with any questions or issues involving pain and discomfort. Contact us to book.