Midfoot plantar pressure significantly increases during late gestation.
Gaymer C., Whalley H., Achten J., Vatish M., Costa ML.
BACKGROUND: A rise in plantar pressure has been observed in pregnant women with foot pain. The current literature on plantar pressure in pregnancy is sparse. It has been postulated that changes in plantar pressure result from the physiological effects of pregnancy. In this study we aim to quantify the plantar pressure of women in late pregnancy. METHODS: Twenty-two pregnant women undergoing a caesarean section and twenty non-pregnant women were recruited from University Hospital Coventry and Warwickshire between May to June 2007. Plantar pressure measurements were performed using an in-shoe measurement system. The control group was compared with the pregnant group at 38 weeks gestation. A selection of the pregnant group had repeat measurements at 4 months post-partum. The pre and post-partum measurements were also compared. RESULTS: The pregnant group (PG) exerted a significantly higher mean midfoot pressure compared to the non-pregnant control group (CG) (PG=115.5kPa, CG=95.4kPa; p=0.001). Post-partum (PP), there was a significant reduction in the mean and maximum midfoot pressure (mean; PG=111.9kPa, PP=66.2kPa; p<0.001, maximum; PG=184.0kPa, PP=108.3kPa; p<0.001). CONCLUSIONS: The physiological changes in late pregnancy result in an increase in midfoot plantar pressure. This increase resolves post-partum.