are disproportionately affected by musculoskeletal
disorders. Parous women
seem to be at a particularly elevated risk for structural and functional changes in the lower limbs. The combination of increased weight on the joints with potentially greater laxity during pregnancy
could lead to permanent structural changes in the feet. Although arches may become lax during pregnancy
, it is unknown whether the changes persist. The objective of this study was to determine whether arch
height loss persists postpartum.
completed this longitudinal study. Static and dynamic arch
measurements were collected in the first trimester and at 19 wks postpartum. Linear mixed models were used to determine whether outcome measures significantly changed overall or by parity.
height and rigidity indices significantly decreased, with concomitant increases in foot length and arch
drop. The first pregnancy
accounted for the reduction in arch
rigidity and the increases in foot length and arch
drop. No changes were detected in the center of pressure excursion index.
seems to be associated with a permanent loss of arch
height, and the first pregnancy
may be the most significant. These changes in the feet could contribute to the increased risk for musculoskeletal
disorders in women
. Further research should assess the efficacy of rehabilitative interventions for prevention of pregnancy