Diabetic Foot Care Advice

The aim of this blog is to help members of the public to understand their feet better. However the information on this blog should never be regarded as medical advice. Readers with foot problems are strongly encouraged to visit their GP if not the podiatrist for further medical assessment and treatment.

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Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Foot Problems During Pregnancy

Pregnancy causes many changes to a woman’s body. The feet are not exempt from these changes. The weight change during pregnancy and possible retention of fluids can cause problems or changes in her feet.

The pressure from added weight can cause the feet to expand slightly. Many pregnant women find the need to buy shoes in a larger size. Gradually after delivery, a woman’s feet may return to their normal, pre-pregnancy size. It is important for a pregnant woman to buy larger shoes if her feet become larger. Continuing to use her shoes that have become too tight can lead to foot problems, such as bunions, corns, and blisters. Some woman’s feet do not return to their pre-pregnancy size after pregnancy.

The added weight can also put excess pressure on the arch of the foot. Over-pronation, or flatfoot, can occur. This can cause the woman’s feet to roll inward as she walks. The plantar fascia may experience inflammation or extreme stress from the over-pronation. The plantar fascia is the fibrous tissue that runs from the heel to the forefoot.

The over-pronation can cause strain on the foot. It can affect not only the feet, but cause pain in the calves and back as well. Over-pronation can often be treated conservatively with over-the-counter orthotics. Orthotics that provide arch support should help alleviate mild pain due to over-pronation.

Shoes worn during pregnancy should provide extra support. Footwear that provides shock absorption is ideal. Athletic shoes with supportive soles are a good choice during pregnancy. All shoes worn should fit properly for the current condition and size of the feet.

Edema, or swelling in the feet, is common during pregnancy. A pregnant woman should contact her physician or obstetrician if she experiences swelling of the feet or ankles to make sure it is not a symptom of a potentially serious condition such as preeclampsia. Elevating the feet can help reduce edema. If the pregnant woman has to sit for extended periods of time, she should take frequent breaks and walk for a few minutes.


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