ACFAS offers mothers-to-be remedies for aching feet
"Oh my aching feet" is a phrase you hear often from pregnant women. But are sore feet a symptom they just must deal with during pregnancy? According to the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons (ACFAS) the answer is "no." There are many remedies available to help alleviate foot pain.
According to Marybeth Crane, DPM, FACFAS, a Dallas-area foot and ankle surgeon, women often experience foot pain during pregnancy because of increased weight, foot instability and swelling. "In the last five years, I've seen an increase in pregnant women with foot pain because more women than ever before are active, even running marathons, during their pregnancies," Dr. Crane says. ACFAS recommends the following guidelines to help reduce foot pain during pregnancy.
Painful, Swollen Feet -- Pregnant women often experience throbbing, swollen feet due to excess fluid build up (edema) in the feet from the weight and position of the baby. To reduce swelling, put feet up whenever possible, stretch legs frequently, wear wide comfortable shoes and don't cross legs when sitting.
Arch Pain -- Pain in the arch can be due to both arch fatigue or over pronation (or the flattening of the arch). Over pronation occurs due to extreme stress to the ligament (the plantar fascia) that holds up the arch of the foot. The best way to prevent arch pain is to stretch daily in the morning and before and after any exercise, don't go barefoot and wear supportive low-heeled shoes.
Foot Cramps -- These painful cramps are caused by increased blood volume and high progesterone levels brought on by pregnancy. To prevent cramps, increase circulation by rotating ankles and elevating feet while sitting. If cramps persist, try a walk around the block and include daily stretching of the calf muscles.