Pregnancy can lead to a variety of foot disorders, including metatarsalgia. Metatarsalgia is a broad term that refers to pain in the metatarsal region of the foot. Here are three things pregnant women need to know about metatarsalgia.
What are the symptoms of metatarsalgia?
The symptoms of metatarsalgia generally develop over time, though if you ramp up your workout routine, they can develop suddenly. You'll feel pain in the metatarsal region of your foot, which is the part of your sole that's just behind your toes. The pain tends to get better when you sit or lie down, and worse when you stand, walk, or run. You may also feel like you have a foreign object such as a pebble stuck in your shoe.
Other symptoms can also occur. Some people with metatarsalgia experience numbness or a tingling sensation in their toes. If you develop any of these symptoms, make an appointment with a podiatrist right away.
How does pregnancy cause it?
Metatarsalgia occurs when increased pressure is put on your forefoot. When you're pregnant, this area of your foot is under increased strain for a few reasons. First, the rapid weight gain associated with pregnancy puts additional stress on your feet. Also, the changes in your gait put new demands on your feet and can increase the pressure on your forefoot.
How is it treated?
Your podiatrist can offer treatments to help take strain off of your forefoot. Initially, treatment may involve resting the foot to allow the area to heal and icing the sore area. Your podiatrist may apply a pressure bandage as well to control swelling in the area.
Stretching and strengthening exercises can also help your foot heal. Your podiatrist may show you some appropriate exercises; make sure to do these carefully because improper stretching and strengthening won't help and can actually disrupt your healing process.
Orthotic devices can help ease your pain. Over-the-counter devices may be enough to help your symptoms, but if not, your podiatrist can create custom-made inserts that will perfectly support your foot. These orthotics have been shown to be quite effective when they're worn in supportive shoes. Finding supportive shoes can be difficult when your feet are swollen and sore from pregnancy, but your podiatrist can recommend shoes that are appropriate for your needs.
If you're pregnant and your forefeet hurt, you may have metatarsalgia and should see a podiatrist right away.
For a podiatrist in your area, contact an office such as Pinker & Associates.
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