Plantar Fasciitis in Pregnancy - What to Expect

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Pregnancy is a transformative and joyous time for many women, but it can also bring about certain challenges, including changes in the body that may lead to conditions like plantar fasciitis. Characterized by heel pain due to inflammation of the plantar fascia, this condition can affect pregnant individuals, impacting daily activities and overall comfort. In this blog post, well explore what to expect when dealing with plantar fasciitis during pregnancy and discuss strategies for managing and alleviating the associated discomfort.

Understanding Plantar Fasciitis in Pregnancy:

Plantar fasciitis is not uncommon during pregnancy, and it often results from a combination of factors related to the changes the body undergoes. As the uterus expands, there is an increase in weight and pressure placed on the feet. Additionally, hormonal changes, such as the release of relaxin, can lead to ligament laxity, affecting the arch of the foot and contributing to the development of plantar fasciitis.

What to Expect:

  1. Increased Foot Size:

    • Many pregnant individuals experience an increase in shoe size due to the weight gain and the hormonal changes affecting ligaments. This change in foot size can contribute to strain on the plantar fascia.
  2. Morning Heel Pain:

    • Plantar fasciitis often manifests as sharp heel pain, particularly during the first steps in the morning or after periods of rest. This is a common symptom during pregnancy and can make getting out of bed or standing up after sitting challenging.
  3. Swelling and Discomfort:

    • Swelling, a common occurrence in pregnancy, can exacerbate the discomfort associated with plantar fasciitis. The combination of increased weight and fluid retention can put additional stress on the feet.
  4. Changes in Gait:

    • Due to the physiological changes in the body, pregnant individuals may experience alterations in their gait. These changes can impact the distribution of weight on the feet and contribute to plantar fasciitis symptoms.

Managing Plantar Fasciitis During Pregnancy:

  1. Comfortable Footwear:

    • Invest in supportive and comfortable footwear that accommodates changes in foot size and provides proper arch support. Consider wearing shoes with a low heel and good cushioning.
  2. Orthotic Inserts:

    • Custom or over-the-counter orthotic inserts can offer additional support to the arch of the foot, reducing strain on the plantar fascia. Ensure they fit comfortably in your shoes.
  3. Regular Foot Exercises:

    • Perform gentle foot exercises and stretches to maintain flexibility and strengthen the muscles supporting the arch. Toe curls, calf stretches, and ankle circles can be beneficial.
  4. Ice Massage:

    • Apply ice to the affected heel for 10-15 minutes to reduce inflammation. Ice massage can be particularly effective in alleviating pain and swelling.
  5. Elevate Feet When Possible:

    • Elevate your feet whenever possible, especially if you experience swelling. This can help reduce fluid retention and alleviate pressure on the feet.
  6. Rest and Avoid Prolonged Standing:

    • While staying active is essential, avoid prolonged standing or walking. Take breaks to rest your feet and elevate them when needed.
  7. Compression Socks:

    • Consider wearing compression socks to help reduce swelling in the feet and promote better blood circulation.
  8. Professional Consultation:

    • If the symptoms persist or become severe, consult with a healthcare professional or a podiatrist. They can provide tailored advice and may recommend additional interventions, such as physical therapy.

When to Seek Medical Attention:

If you experience persistent or severe heel pain, swelling, or changes in sensation in your feet, its crucial to seek prompt medical attention. These symptoms may indicate other underlying issues that require professional evaluation.


Managing plantar fasciitis during pregnancy involves a combination of self-care strategies, lifestyle adjustments, and, when needed, professional guidance. By being proactive and attentive to the changing needs of your feet, you can navigate this challenging period with greater comfort and focus on the joys of pregnancy. Remember to prioritize your foot health and seek medical advice for personalized care and support.

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