Physio & Therapies column: What your podiatrist can do to help

There are ways in which your podiatrist can help
There are ways in which your podiatrist can help

There are several areas in which your podiatrist can help you keep your feet in good shape during pregnancy.

Chiropody: this is care of nails and skin. Increasing the comfort of the feet with chiropody treatments to remove the thickened areas of skin and nail care particularly when bump won’t allow you to reach!

Footwear assessments and advice: footwear advice that is realistic to your age group. I have found we all have our own styles and preferences which are still important to us during pregnancy. It may be something as simple as increasing or decreasing the pitch/heel height of the shoe, choosing foot wear with different widths or support in different parts of the shoe structure. This depends on your own foot type and shape, is individual and can be assessed by your podiatrist.

Lower limb screening (veins): this will involve discussing your history and assessing the venous supply in your lower limbs. The competence of the valves can be checked with a Doppler Ultrasound and sometimes it is advised pregnant women wear compression socks or simply modify their activity and seating position. Advice on prevention and the signs and symptoms of a deep vein thrombosis can be invaluable.

Foot posture screening: this will involve a check of your foot positioning and walking pattern. Bespoke insoles are available if required.

In general terms, if you are experiencing problems I would advise an appointment with your Podiatrist, GP or Midwife as assessment and diagnosis are essential to ensure you get the appropriate treatment plan.

A broad list of generalised advice may be helpful:

l Avoid sitting cross legged

l Avoid long periods of standing

l When seated elevate your feet

l Use a cream regularly to soften skin on the soles of the feet and around the heels, avoiding between the toes

l Aim for the pitch/wedge of the shoe to be around 3cm with adequate fastening and stability

l Any pains in your calf contact a Podiatrist, your GP or A&E highlighting your symptoms

Podiatry in Pregnancy appointments are available at Physio & Therapies to assess your needs and provide treatment.

Call our reception team for more information on 01706 819464.