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Preventative Foot Care

It is very important to have the proper support in your shoes and especially while pregnant, as many women experience plantar fascia strain due to the pregnancy weight gain. The plantar fascia or arch ligament is a band that runs from under the heel to the front of the foot. Symptoms are typically localized tenderness and pain over the plantar fascia. Wearing arch support in your shoes can prevent this strain, and also will help with the discomfort if it has occurred. It can ultimately prevent plantar fasciitis from developing, which is a painful condition caused by overuse of the plantar fascia or arch tendon of the foot.

It is imperative to be treated for a proper shoe fitting, where your gait is assessed to determine if your ankle joint's motion has inversion and/or pronation in the arch, eversion and/or supination of the arch, or is neutral . Those of us who run are familiar with "stability shoes"- a running shoe with a built-in arch support which compensates for inversion and pronation. Stability shoes are a great investment to provide the necessary support for your arches while pregnant. If you already have been fitted for a stability shoe for your pre-pregnant gait, you may find you need a higher degree of stability shoe throughout the duration of your pregnancy. The highest level of stability are called "motion-control" support, which is effectively having an orthopedic support built into your shoe. Typically people with flat arches are fitted in motion control shoes, so it is sensible that if your plantar fascia is straining due to excessive weight, a motion control shoe can prevent injury. If you do have a custom orthopedic support NEVER wear them in a shoe with built-in stability, but rather in a "cushioning" or neutral shoe.

If you do suffer any plantar fascia pain, freeze a bottle of water and roll it under the arch of your foot. Remember elevation, ice, and rest! Get a foot assessment, ideally by your certified personal trainer. Barring that luxury, head to your nearest Running Room where staff are fully trained in gait assessments and shoe fittings.

Taking care of your feet is necessary, especially during pregnancy as we carry so much more weight. Typically exercise shoes should be fit 1/2 size larger than a regular shoe to allow for some swelling during exercise. You may find that while pregnant you fit a full size larger, for comfort as your feet swell due to the extra weight. I advise being fit for a new shoe during your second trimester, or the moment you feel any strain or discomfort in the arches of your feet. I also recommend replacing your shoes postpartum when you return to your exercise program, as your shoes will be stretched and strained from the weight of your pregnant body.


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