Sore legs and back while you’re pregnant is stressful and may be unnecessary.
Among the many discomforts women have during pregnancy, aching feet and back pains tend to top the list.
As the fetus grows and gains weight, the expectant mother often finds that her legs ache and her feet have enlarged and are frequently swollen by the end of the day. In addition, her back becomes sore as her center of gravity changes and she shifts to support the growing baby.
Foot Changes in Pregnancy
During pregnancy, it is often difficult for expectant women to wear the same types and width of shoes they formerly did. It can be challenging for them to be comfortable exercising, being active, or even simply walking around due to leg and back pain.
Many of these foot, leg, and back problems happen in conjunction with an increase in the hormone Relaxin early in the pregnancy. The body amplifies relaxin production to make the pelvic ligaments more flexible in preparation for the birth of the baby.
In addition to loosening the pelvic ligaments, Relaxin also affects other ligaments throughout the body, including those in the feet.
Accordingly, the plantar calcaneonavicular or spring ligament in the arch of the foot becomes more amenable to stretching, as do other foot ligaments. This ligament stretch, combined with the expectant mother’s weight increase due to the baby she is carrying, allows the foot to collapse and roll inward (pronate) under pressure from walking or running.
Consequently, lower back pain during pregnancy often comes from the rapid collapsing and over-pronation of the women’s foot arch as she strides or jogs and not just from “pregnancy posture”.
Full Contact Orthotics End Foot and Lower Back Pain
Biomechanically correct foot orthotics, such as the ICON Full Contact Orthotics I use in my practice, give stability to the ligaments of the foot and offer overall foot support. Fabricated from a direct impression of your foot, full contact orthotics provide better shock absorption of the pressures exerted when walking, cessation of over-pronation, and a marked decrease in back, foot, and leg pain.
Pregnancy provides a great opportunity to address underlying foot problems while your foot is malleable and able to adapt to a new position. Using the time while you are pregnant to support your foot in a new corrected position will allow proper functioning and decreased pain for years to come.
Dr. Marc Klein is an Illinois-trained podiatric surgeon. His practice is dedicated to biomechanics and sports medicine. He believes in addressing his patient’s underlying problems as well as their symptoms. He lectures nationally about the Icon orthotics technology and trains other podiatrists in the newer casting techniques. He has been interviewed by ABC, NBC, CBS and Comcast newsmakers, all of which can be viewed on his website at www.dmarcklein.com.