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Managing Plantar Fasciitis During Pregnancy – Tips and Precautions

Pregnancy is a remarkable period filled with happiness and blessings. However, it is accompanied by various physical transformations in a woman’s body. Unfortunately, some of these changes can lead to discomfort or even pain throughout the pregnancy journey.

Plantar fasciitis is a common foot condition that can affect pregnant women, causing discomfort and potentially leading to the weakening of foot arches. This condition occurs when the plantar fascia, a thick band of tissue that supports the arch of the foot, becomes strained or inflamed. As a result, pregnant women may experience pain and tenderness in the heel or along the sole of the foot. It is believed that hormonal changes and weight gain during pregnancy can contribute to the development of plantar fasciitis. To alleviate symptoms, pregnant women are advised to wear appropriate footwear, engage in low-impact exercises, and try stretching exercises specifically targeting the feet. Additionally, seeking professional advice from a healthcare provider is important to determine the best treatment options during pregnancy.


Incorporating a daily stretching routine into your schedule is highly recommended by Dr. Robichau. This simple practice can be done either before exercising or before going to bed. By consistently stretching, you can experience multiple benefits, such as enhancing the flexibility and strength of your muscles and joints. Moreover, integrating stretching into your daily routine can also contribute to boosting your overall performance levels and maintaining mobility as you age. It is indeed a small yet impactful habit that can positively impact your overall well-being.

According to certified exercise physiologist John Ford of JKF Fitness & Health in New York City, stretching can temporarily lengthen muscles (and the tendons and ligaments that surround them) temporarily. But in order to actually increase your range of motion over time, Ford recommends being consistent with stretching sessions.

Pregnant women must incorporate stretching into their routine as high heels and narrow toes can increase the risk of developing plantar fasciitis. According to Deborah Lynn Irmas, personal trainer and triathlete in Santa Monica, CA, it’s best to wear shoes that support your arches while providing room for flexibility in movement.


Pregnancy brings about many physical changes, especially to your feet and legs. You may experience foot cramps, swelling, more visible veins, as well as toenail issues.

It’s essential to recognize these symptoms, as they could indicate plantar fasciitis or other conditions requiring medical care.

Managing Plantar Fasciitis During Pregnancy:

Resting your feet, stretching, taking regular breaks, staying hydrated and wearing shoes that fit comfortably can often reduce most of your foot pain during pregnancy.

Ice is another effective remedy to reduce inflammation and aid in healing plantar fasciitis. Apply ice directly onto the bottom of your foot for 15-20 minutes several times daily.

Pregnant women often experience foot and ankle swelling, particularly during the third trimester of pregnancy. This occurs because your body produces 50% more blood and fluids to meet your growing baby’s needs. Other causes for swelling can include a diet high in sodium or potassium, living in an uncomfortable climate, excessive caffeine consumption, among others.

Cortisone Injections

If NSAIDs haven’t relieved your plantar fasciitis pain, you might be a good candidate for cortisone injections. Doctors usually recommend one single shot into the most painful part of your foot to reduce inflammation and provide temporary relief – usually lasting around one month.

Your doctor will disinfect the injection site and apply anesthetic spray to numb it. You may receive a pain reliever like codeine or ibuprofen prior to receiving the shot for added comfort.

You’ll be asked to don a gown and your provider will inject a small amount of the steroid medication into the affected joint. This is an efficient and secure way to manage pain and inflammation.

After your injection, you may experience bruising, tenderness and headaches. The effects of the shot should take hold within a few days and remain for several weeks.


If you experience recurrent heel pain, surgery may be recommended as a preventative measure to manage plantar fasciitis during pregnancy. This procedure removes your plantar fascia – that thick band of tissue connecting your toes to your heel bone – by cutting away at it.

Pregnant women’s feet often experience additional strain due to weight gain and swollen ankles. This can lead to over-pronation, placing pressure on the plantar fascia ligaments of the foot which can result in pain at either the heel or arch.

Elevating your feet after exercising, resting them on an ice pack or frozen water bottle for five minutes, and performing simple exercises such as calf raises can help relieve heel pain. Additionally, wearing shoes with good arch support may provide additional comfort.


You might also like to read:

Plantar People
The Psychological Impact of Plantar Fasciitis: Coping Strategies and Support
Navigating Daily Activities with Plantar Fasciitis: Lifestyle Adaptations and Accommodations

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