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Dr. Brandon Macy
Podiatrist - Clark, NJ
1114 Raritan Road
Clark, NJ 07066




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Posts for tag: pregnancy and foot pain

By Brandon Macy, D.P.M.
October 14, 2013
Category: Pregnancy

This topic has a great deal of personal interest to me.  No, I'm not pregnant--that would be a medical miracle. But my oldest daughter Jennifer is pregnant with my first grandchild--no secret, its a girl!  The anticipated arrival of the little lady is in mid-December and we're all very excited about the new addition to the family, including (and especially) my son-in-law Ben.

Jennifer has been feeling good all along and looks fantastic too, as you can plainly see! (No paternal bias here, I assure you).  We'll check on the baby's feet once she arrives, but for now we'll mention issues that many expectant mothers have with their own feet.

Pregnancy does a couple of things to the feet: swelling/water retention and lowering of the arch.  This makes for challenges in shoe fit, along with varying kinds of foot pain.  

Swollen feet are mostly caused by pressure of the baby on the veins, resulting in a back pressurein the legs and water retention.  Support stockings, elevating the feet and legs as often as possible and watching dietary sources of salt are the best ways to minimize the swelling.

There's a ligament under the arch--the spring ligament--which is made up of a special kind of fibers, similar to those in the pelvic area, that responds to the hormones of pregnancy.  It stretches more to accommodate the extra weight being carried, resulting in a lowering of the arch (pronation).  This can have some negative consequences as well.  Feet whcih flatten out too much can cause fatigue in the feet and legs, arch pain and heel pain among other things.  Plantar fasciitis is very common in pregnancy.

What to do?  Wear comfortable shoes--Jennifer has opted for comfortable shoes which don't lace--in the 8th month, it is a challenge to bend down far enough to tie shoelaces!  For heel pain, arch pain and more generalized fatigue, an orthotics will also be recommended and they can be a godsend.  Oh yes, and keep walking!  The muscle action of the legs will help support the veins and lessen water retention.

In younger women and with first pregnancies, the spring ligament will usually snap back into shape after delivery.  However, in older women, multiple pregnancies and heavier women, often we'll see that the changes don't reverse.  In these cases, many will note a change in their shoe size during and after pregnancy, sometimes by as much as two full sizes!  Women have to watch for this not only during pregnancy, but after the baby has arrived. By all means contact us for an appointment or if you have any questions.

Pregnant and having foot pain?  Know somebody who is pregnant?  We'll be happy to evaluate and make recommendations to make the pregnancy as comfortable as possible. There will be enough sleepless nights after the baby arrives, so let's do what we can to make the last few months of pregnancy easier. 

Updates on Jennifer and my granddaughter-to-be will follow. 












Pregnant Foot PainDuring pregnancy, it's not uncommon for women to experience an array of aches and pains all over the body. Among these complaints are tired, swollen, achy feet- a common and painful symptom experienced by mothers-to-be during their nine months of pregnancy.

One of the most common foot problems that occur during pregnancy is swelling, or edema, which results from the extra accumulation of blood. The natural weight gain and enlarging uterus puts pressure on the veins that lead to the legs, causing circulation to slow down and increasing fluid retention. The legs and feet may become swollen, making shoes tight, and in some cases causing pain and discomfort. Slight swelling during pregnancy is normal and usually subsides after giving birth. Women should pay close attention to edema symptoms. Swelling to the face or a sudden onset of swelling could be a sign of a more serious condition called preeclampsia and should be reported immediately.

Another troubling foot problem that can occur during pregnancy is over-pronation (flat feet) which is caused when a person's arch flattens out upon weight bearing causing the feet to turn in abnormally. This condition develops when the dense band of tissue in the arch of the foot called the plantar fascia becomes strained and inflamed due to increased flattening of the feet. Over-pronation is common in pregnancy due to the increased weight gain which stresses the feet and flattens the arches. Walking can become very painful, and women may experience increased discomfort and strain on the feet, calves and back.

There are various remedies available to help minimize and alleviate foot pain during pregnancy.

  • Take short breaks during the day and elevate your feet to relieve pressure and swelling.
  • Drink plenty of water.
  • Wear shoes that are soft, comfortable and give your feet room to move.
  • Wear seamless socks that do not constrict circulation.
  • Exercise or walk regularly to promote overall health.
  • Stretch legs frequently and avoid crossing your legs when sitting.
  • To prevent arch pain, stretch daily, avoid going barefoot and wear supportive low-heeled shoes.

When foot pain persists, visit Brandon Macy, D.P.M. We'll work with you to find the best treatments for your foot pain. Pregnancy and pending motherhood should be a pleasant, enjoyable experience. Understanding the causes of foot pain and learning easy home remedies can help women step more comfortably throughout these special nine months.

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1114 Raritan Road
Clark, NJ 07066

Podiatrist - Clark, Dr. Brandon Macy, 1114 Raritan Road, Clark NJ, 07066 732-382-3470