bunion correction surgery with dr. thomas mcdonald

How Pregnant Women Can Avoid Bunion Onset

If you’re embarking on your journey to motherhood, you expect to have a baby bump develop over the course of the next nine months. However, that’s not the only bump that can develop on your body. Expectant mothers are at a heightened risk for the onset of a bump at the base of their big toe joint, known as a bunion. This bony prominence can be mildly irritating or severely disability, and it’s certainly not something you want to deal with during the course of your pregnancy. In today’s blog, we explain why expecting mothers are at an increased risk for bunion development and how you can work to prevent and treat a bunion.

Pregnancy And Bunion Risk

Pregnant women are more likely to develop a bunion than the average population for a number of reasons. As you are aware, pregnancy changes your body in a number of ways, but some of these changes also inherently increase your risk of bunion development. Here’s a look at some of the reasons why pregnant women are at an elevated risk for bunion onset.

  • Hormone Changes – Your body starts to produce different hormones in order to prepare itself for the development and arrival of your baby. One of these hormones is called relaxin, and its presence ensures that soft tissues in your body remain soft and flexible. This allows structures to adapt to your growing body and for the physical demands of childbirth. However, it also means that the soft tissues that hold joints in place can’t do their job as effectively, and a bunion develops when your big toe joint shifts out of its natural position. If joints can become more flexible as a result of different hormone production in the body, your risk of bunion onset increases slightly.
  • Weight Gain – It is normal to gain weight as you progress through your pregnancy, and that added stress will certainly be felt by your feet. Extra stress and strain on the feet can increase your risk of bunion onset. Try to stay within your provider’s projected weight targets as you progress through your pregnancy, and take some additional steps to protect your feet against this expected risk factor.
  • Shoe Choice – Poor fitting shoes are the leading cause of bunion onset, and because your feet may swell or take on added stress throughout your pregnancy, you may find that you’ll be choosing different footwear options. Make sure that any shoes you choose are comfortable and supportive. If the shoe is too small or narrow, it can greatly increase your risk of bunion onset. Be mindful of shoe choice if pregnancy forces you to choose a different pair of regular shoes.

Preventing Bunions During Pregnancy

Nobody wants to deal with a painful bump on their feet while they should be enjoying the maternity bump on their front, so take a few simple steps to help protect yourself against bunion development during the course of your pregnancy. Some ways to reduce your risk of developing a bunion throughout your pregnancy include:

  • Wearing comfortable, supportive and wide shoes.
  • Gaining weight as suggested by your women’s care provider.
  • Getting regular exercise.
  • Avoiding high-impact or high-stress physical activities like running or jump-based exercises.
  • Using anti-inflammatories and ice packs to manage foot discomfort.
  • Elevating your feet to manage swelling and discomfort.

Of course, you’ll also want to tell your women’s care provider about any changes you’re experiencing in your feet. While conservative treatment cannot reverse big toe joint dysfunction, these steps can slow or stop the bunion from progressing, which can make life more comfortable and prevent the need for surgical correction. The sooner treatment begins, the more likely it is that you can avoid bunion surgery, so don’t just ignore the problem.

We’ve helped countless patients effectively manage their bunions, and we can do the same for you so that your pregnancy doesn’t need to be any more uncomfortable than it needs to be. Even if you’re not pregnant, we’re confident that we can find the right treatment for your bunion pain. For more information, or for help with a different foot and ankle issue, reach out to Dr. McDonald and his team today at (860) 244-8889.

No Comments

Post A Comment