Pregnancy permanently changes foot size
A new University of Iowa study confirms what many women have long suspected – that pregnancy permanently changes the size and shape of a woman's feet.
Flat feet are a common problem for pregnant women. The arch of the foot flattens out, possibly due to the extra weight and increased looseness (laxity) of the joints associated with pregnancy. The new study, published in the March issue of the American Journal of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, suggests that this loss of arch height is permanent.
"I had heard women reporting changes in their shoe size with pregnancy, but found nothing about that in medical journals or textbooks," says Neil Segal, M.D., UI associate professor of orthopaedics and rehabilitation. "In order to study this more scientifically, we measured women's feet at the beginning of their pregnancy and five months after delivery. We found that pregnancy does indeed lead to permanent changes in the feet."
The UI study followed 49 pregnant women and collected static and dynamic arch measurements during the first trimester of pregnancy and again about five months after childbirth. The researchers found that for about 60 to 70 percent of the women in the study, their feet became longer and wider.
Specifically, the study showed that, on average, arch height and measures of arch rigidity decreased significantly comparing early pregnancy with five months after childbirth, causing corresponding increases in foot length (between 2 and 10 mm) and arch drop. However, no significant change in the distribution of foot pressure was detected. The study also suggested that first pregnancies may account for most of the observed changes, while second, third, or higher pregnancies may not further alter foot structure.
"We know that women, and especially women who have had children, are disproportionately affected by musculoskeletal disorders," says Segal, who also is an associate professor of radiology and epidemiology, and director of the Clinical Osteoarthritis Research Program. "It is possible that these foot changes that occur during pregnancy may help explain why, in comparison with men, women are at higher risk for pain or arthritis in their feet, knees, hips and spines."
Segal plans to conduct follow-up studies to assess whether these foot changes lead to health problems, like arthritis, later in life. He also is conducting studies of how women's musculoskeletal health can be protected during pregnancy.
Journal reference: Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Provided by University of Iowa
- Progesterone test can predict viability of pregnancy Sep 27, 2012 | not rated yet | 0
- Post-pregnancy deterioration in glycemic control in T1DM Feb 14, 2013 | not rated yet | 0
- High blood pressure during pregnancy may signal later heart disease risk Feb 11, 2013 | not rated yet | 0
- Pregnancy ups bleed risk from abnormal brain blood vessels Aug 14, 2012 | not rated yet | 0
- Future reproductive outcomes for women who have had an ectopic pregnancy Jun 20, 2012 | not rated yet | 0
- Motion perception revisited: High Phi effect challenges established motion perception assumptions Apr 23, 2013 | 3 / 5 (2) | 2
- Anything you can do I can do better: Neuromolecular foundations of the superiority illusion (Update) Apr 02, 2013 | 4.5 / 5 (11) | 5
- The visual system as economist: Neural resource allocation in visual adaptation Mar 30, 2013 | 5 / 5 (2) | 9
- Separate lives: Neuronal and organismal lifespans decoupled Mar 27, 2013 | 4.9 / 5 (8) | 0
- Sizing things up: The evolutionary neurobiology of scale invariance Feb 28, 2013 | 4.8 / 5 (10) | 14
Classical and Quantum Mechanics via Lie algebras
Apr 15, 2011 I'd like to open a discussion thread for version 2 of the draft of my book ''Classical and Quantum Mechanics via Lie algebras'', available online at http://lanl.arxiv.org/abs/0810.1019 , and for the...
- More from Physics Forums - Independent Research
More news stories
New mothers throughout Australia are needed to help QUT sleep researchers investigate whether the disrupted sleep experienced by mothers when caring for their new baby raises the risk of injury while driving.
Health 30 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0
(AP)—The mayor of Portland, Ore., has conceded defeat in an effort to add fluoride to the city's drinking water.
Health 1 hour ago | not rated yet | 0
The gap between life expectancy in patients with a mental illness and the general population has widened since 1985 and efforts to reduce this gap should focus on improving physical health, suggest researchers in a paper ...
Health 13 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
Failure to use linked electronic health records may lead to biased estimates of heart attack incidence and outcome, warn researchers in a paper published in BMJ today.
Health 13 hours ago | 5 / 5 (1) | 0
Dietary advice on added sugar is damaging our health, warns a cardiologist in BMJ today. Dr. Aseem Malhotra believes that "not only has this advice been manipulated by the food industry for profit but it is actually a risk ...
Health 13 hours ago | 5 / 5 (4) | 0
Medical researchers discover new ways to target, develop and design drugs to prevent and treat viral infection
Researchers at the University of Alberta have discovered a new drug target, developed a new drug and identified a new way to design drugs—all of which could be a winning combination in the battle against viruses.
12 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0 |
Italian lawmakers on Wednesday gave their final approval to a law that allows limited use of a controversial type of stem cell therapy which has been condemned by many scientists but has given hope to families of terminally-ill ...
52 minutes ago | 5 / 5 (1) | 0
Beta-blockers, normally used for high blood pressure, could enhance the effectiveness of chemotherapies in treating neuroblastoma, a type of children's cancer, according to a new study published in the British Jo ...
22 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0
Cancer survivors are no more likely to stop smoking, cut down on alcohol, or exercise more often than the general population, according to new research published in the British Journal of Cancer today (Wednesday)
12 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0
(Medical Xpress)—Do ethicists engage in better moral behavior than other professors? The answer is no. Nor are they more likely than nonethicists to act according to values they espouse, according to researchers from the ...
11 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0
A Japanese cancer specialist said Wednesday she has started the world's first clinical trial of a powerful, non-surgical, short-term radiation therapy for breast cancer.
32 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0