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Foot, ankle or knee pain post pregnancy?

posted by Joan Palmer

As a Buggyfit instructor, I see a lot of new mums every week. Occasionally, new mums will come to me complaining of pain in their knee, ankle or foot which has only occurred since pregnancy and beyond.

Quite often, these pains can develop due to the changes in posture that occur during pregnancy. There are changes in posture throughout the body, but one of the areas that could be contributing to knee, ankle or foot pain is a tightness in the calf muscle due to changes in foot posture. You may have noticed that your foot has become a little wider and your toes more splayed along with a loss of the arch on the inside of your foot causing you to roll in on the foot a little more when standing still.

The actual cause of this problem can stem from changes much further up the body which would need to be assessed and addressed to solve the problem (all of which I can help you with) but in the meantime there is something you can do to help alleviate some of the problem.

To help alleviate the tightness in the calf muscle, you can start with some simple stretching exercises. You may have stretched your calf muscle before an exercise class, but what is important now is that to make any difference to the muscle and how you stretch it, you need to try and keep your back foot in the stretch below as straight as possible, pointing directly forward.

Calf

With a tightness in the muscle you will be inclined to want to keep your foot turned out. You may need to stretch both sides but the foot that is at the back with the straight knee, is the one you are stretching the calf on.

Calf

Stretch 2 (above) is a general stretch for the whole calf area where you stand on your bottom step holding on to the bannister, and let both heels drop down below the step. With both of these stretches, you need to take it to the point where you just start to feel a pull and hold it for 20-30 seconds and repeat 2-3 times. It’s best to stretch when you are warm so after a bath or shower is a good option or after a walk or some exercise. Remember, the stretch may not fix things for you but it is a good starting point. To get to the bottom of any issues associated with this then please get in touch joan@mumsfit.co.uk

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