Overpronation and flat feet
Did you know that feet gradually flatten and widen throughout adulthood for nearly everyone? A lifetime of wear and tear will do that.
However, pregnancy can greatly accelerate the process. During pregnancy, your body releases hormones that “relax” joints and ligaments throughout the body. The main purpose is to allow the pelvis to expand in order to accommodate the baby and the birthing process. However, it also loosens up ligaments in the feet.
When you add weight gain on top of looser ligaments, the result is often a noticeable flattening of the arch. This is frequently accompanied by the development (or worsening) of overpronation, which is what happens when your feet start to roll too far inward when you put weight on them as you walk.
Due to the way overpronation alters the biomechanical alignment of your feet and ankles, you may start to experience other problems, such as heel pain. Also, it’s quite common for at least some of the arch flattening and overpronation to remain after pregnancy—or in other words, your feet don’t ever quite go back to “normal.”
If you’re experiencing only mild discomfort, we’d recommend you stick to comfortable footwear that provides a lot of arch support and cushioning. If you’re still having painful problems, a set of carefully chosen arch inserts or, if necessary, custom orthotics can make a huge difference.
There’s never a “good” time to suffer from ingrown toenails. But if we had to rank them, pregnancy would be one of the worst.
Often times this is a secondary consequence of the conditions we’ve already talked about. Whether your feet are just swelling temporarily or actually getting permanently larger due to arch flattening, you may find your shoes feeling a bit tighter than they used to.
When toes get packed into shoes that press down on the nails, ingrown toenails are a very common result.
If your ingrown toenail is mild, soaking your feet for about 15 minutes at a time a few (3-4) times per day can provide relief. If the ingrown toenail persists, is painful, or shows any signs of infection, you should come see us as soon as possible. You definitely don’t want to mess around with a severe ingrown toenail!