Physiologic Changes In the Foot During Pregnancy
Dr. Lawrence Brown, DPM from the Ryan Foot & Ankle Clinic in Center Line, MI speaks on the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons podcast (June 2011) on the Physiologic Changes In the Foot During Pregnancy. This interesting podcast provides important insight into the occurrence of foot and back pain during pregnancy.
There has been very little research regarding physiologic changes to the foot during pregnancy. this is remarkable given the universal symptoms of low back and foot pain reported by pregnant women.
The purpose of this study was to investigate the biomechanical foot changes seen in pregnancy throughout all three trimesters and at post pardum.
We identified 22 women in their 1st trimester of pregnancy from 2007 to 2010. The study was approved by Wayne State University and informed consents were collected from each subject. After a brief foot exam, subjects were asked to fill out a brief survey regrading and foot or back pain they were experiencing. They were then asked to walk over a matscan computerizes mat sensor (Tekscan, INC), where a series of pressure data was automatically recorded and stored. This was carried out at each trimester and then post partum.
We concluded that foot length and width increase throughout pregnancy but do not necessarily return to their original size. Also, women change the way they walk, especially in late pregnancy, to help stabilize themselves, but may not return to a “normal” walking pattern after delivery, and thus causing foot problems down the road.