Foot cramping in pregnancy: 6 comfort measures

I am due in four months and have developed cramping in the arch of my feet. What can I to help ease the pain?


Peg Plumbo CNM

Peg Plumbo has been a certified nurse-midwife (CNM) since 1976. She has assisted at over 1,000 births and currently teaches in the... Read more

During walking, more than two times the force of body weight is borne by the foot. If you have a tendency toward being flat arched or high arched, you are at greater risk of developing any of a number of ills that the foot can be prone to.

The additional weight acquired during pregnancy, as well as the progressive softening of all the ligaments in response to the hormonal changes and the changing center of gravity, make the foot a vulnerable structure.

The most common problem is called plantar fasciitis. It is an inflammation of the covering enclosing the muscles in the area of the arch. It can be caused by trauma, such as stepping on something with the impact or by a quick step, which pulls this area abruptly. Sometimes this pain is experienced after starting an exercise program.

6 Comfort Measures

1. Before you get out of bed, write the alphabet with your feet
-- in cursive preferably! Sounds crazy, but if done each day, it promotes good circulation and stretching of the ligaments before they must take the strain of the total body weight.

2. Apply ice to the feet. Sit down, put your feet up and ice for 10 to 15 minutes, four times a day.

3. Try a medication such as tylenol, aspirin or ibuprofen. Be sure to consult your care provider before using any drugs -- over-the-counter or prescription -- during pregnancy.

4.Wear supportive shoes. Sometimes shoe inserts, which support the arch, work very well for this. Birkenstock makes supportive shoes, as well as arch supports.

5. Consult with a podiatrist or a physical therapist. They can offer a wealth of information and exercises to help relieve this complaint.

6. Time should heal your pain. Unfortunately this pain might not go away immediately after you give birth. This may take from six months to one year to resolve completely. Using other comfort measures, should help you in the meantime.

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