Foot and Ankle Pain after Pregnancy

One of the common complaints we get from moms, especially those who participate in higher impact activities, is foot and ankle pain. Many women experience “fallen arches” during pregnancy or after giving birth due to the increased laxity in the ligaments and weakness in the muscles that help support the arch and ankle. In fact, a recent study published in the American Journal of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation found that 60-70% of women studied at 5 months postpartum, experienced an increase in foot width and length.

In many cases, improved strength and balance will help counteract the decrease in ligamentous support and help to reduce soft tissue strain that can lead to conditions such as plantar fasciitis and posterior tibialis tendonitis. If you had “flat feet” prior to pregnancy you may find a semi rigid arch support, such as those made by Spenco, to be a helpful addition to strength and balance training. Check out the video below and try incorporating some of the balance exercises into your daily routine for decreased foot and ankle pain. A nice bonus, strengthening the foot and ankle can also help with hip and knee pain!

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