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I am 25 weeks pregnant and have been a runner for several years now. My doctor gave me permission to continue running throughout my pregnancy as long as I watch my heart rate. I feel great while running and have no problems except for several hours or the next day after I run, I experience a sharp pain in one of my heels. Could this be a heel spur, or is it a cause of the weight gain associated with pregnancy? Does this mean I need to stop running?

The sharp pain in your heel is most likely a heel spur which is an ossification (calcification) of your tendons as a result of repeated stress. An x-ray is needed to definitely diagnose a heel spur but it is not necessary in a case where the suspicion for fracture is low. Heel spurs may cause local inflammation and pain that may resolve over time with rest and icing. Therefore, if you are experiencing pain, then you should take a break from running for a few weeks.

With regards to the weight gain from pregnancy, it is imperative for women to wear shoes with proper arch support. The increased weight gain will lead to a flattening of the arches of the feet without proper arch support. It is not uncommon for women to permanently gain a shoe size after pregnancy.