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4 Tips for Relieving Heel Pain During Pregnancy

Learn more about heel pain associated with pregnancy, including 4 tips on how to relieve such pain using conservative methods at home.

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By Janik Sundstrom
Kirsty Macdougall - Editor for Upstep
Edited by Kirsty Macdougall

Published August 1, 2022.

Heel pain is a commonly reported symptom experienced by many women during pregnancy. Usually, the increase in overall body weight placed through the heel is one of the primary causes of heel pain during pregnancy. Underlying conditions such as heel spurs can increase your risk of developing heel pain. Swollen feet are common during pregnancy as a result of blood pooling in the lower legs, further contributing to discomfort in the area. 

Read on for tips on how to alleviate heel pain at home

1. Wear Loose-Fitting, Comfortable Shoes

Wearing loose-fitting shoes during your pregnancy may help you tremendously in reducing your heel pain or general discomfort from wearing shoes, especially towards the end of your pregnancy.

2. Use Orthotics

Orthotics can be used to redistribute the weight centered around the heel throughout the entirety of the foot. Orthotics also provide a great deal of cushioning for the feet—necessary in those carrying extra weight (such as pregnant women).

3. Gentle Stretches

Stretches are a great way to relieve pain and inflammation in the plantar fascia and lower leg, in a safe and effective manner. This can be done in a sitting position, crossing your ankle over the opposite knee and gently applying a stretch to the forefoot. You should feel it in the sole of the foot. 

4. Self-Massage 

Massage is known to increase blood flow to the area and promote healing. If pain is experienced in the sole of the foot, gentle massage can be applied along the length of the foot, from the heel to the toes, with the aim of reducing pain and inflammation that may be causing discomfort. A small ball rolled beneath the foot is commonly used by plantar fasciitis patients. Small circular motions can be applied to the ball and small linear movements thereafter.

Consult with a medical professional should you experience high levels of pain or excessive swelling in the lower limbs.