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Pregnancy-related lower limb pain and discomfort can be avoided!

BioPed’s clinic manager explains how Canadian certified pedorthists can help pregnant women find comfort and relief

Like so many people, I have always assumed that uncomfortable and sometimes painful swollen ankles, sore hips, and tired feet were unavoidable during pregnancy. It turns out that I was wrong. According to Meghan Knox, a Canadian Certified Pedorthist who is also the clinic manager of BioPed in Guelph, women do not have to suffer in this way.

“You don't have to struggle with pain and discomfort in your lower limbs,” says Meghan. “You can definitely be comfortable. That goes for knees, hips and everything that changes in your legs and feet with pregnancy.”

Natural Changes During Pregnancy Can Cause Pain

During pregnancy, natural changes cause ligaments in the hips and feet to loosen as well as feet and ankles to swell. These changes can be quite painful for many women.

“Relaxin is a hormone that gets released during pregnancy which helps the hips to widen for birth,” explains Meghan. “The relaxin hormone can also cause a drop in the arch of the foot. This can cause a lot of strain which can sometimes result in painful planter fasciitis. It can become very painful, especially for new moms who are spending a lot of time inside the house taking care of their babies.”

There is also an increase in blood volume during pregnancy along with a lack of blood flow. This can cause swelling and puffiness in the feet which can make wearing shoes uncomfortable. Some women may also experience an increase in foot size that is permanent after giving birth.

“It is normal for changes to occur in the feet during pregnancy. Some women’s feet increase by half a size or even a full size sometimes. Don’t be surprised if your shoes don’t fit anymore once you have your baby. It doesn’t happen all the time, but it is quite common,” says Meghan.

Finding Relief Can be Simple

Fortunately, finding relief is much simpler than most people realise. Canadian certified pedorthists like Meghan and her team at BioPed can help pregnant women find solutions that work for them.

The first thing that Meghan suggests is for women to find supportive sandals to wear indoors. “Supportive indoor footwear that you can wear all day long can help you to prevent planter fasciitis or the collapse in the midfoot. Sandals that can be adjusted and allow for the swelling to occur are a good choice,” recommends Meghan.

The discomfort from swelling can also be relieved by using compression socks in either knee-length or full-length. They are great for decreasing discomfort due to swollen feet and ankles. Full-length pantyhose style compression socks that are designed for pregnancy have a cut out for the belly.

BioPed carries a wide range of footwear and other products that can help to relieve some lower limb pain and discomfort during pregnancy. They also offer lower limb assessments which helps pedorthists to understand what solutions will work best for each individual. In some cases, they may suggest a certain type of supportive footwear or alter an existing pair for increased comfort. At BioPed, their pedorthists can also create custom orthotics on-site.

For more information or help with pregnancy-related lower limb pain or discomfort, visit BioPed in person at 102 Wyndham Street North in Guelph or online. To schedule an assessment, call (519) 821-7310.