Nearly 8 in 10 Americans will experience foot pain at some point in their lives. For women, the blame for foot issues gets placed on heels and other less-than-practical shoe choices. While footwear, including heels, certainly contribute to foot issues, they aren’t the only cause. Learning more about the common feet problems in women and how to get healthy feet can help you remedy some of your issues can help you get back on your feet and stay on them.

Foot Composition That Makes Them Susceptible to Problems

Foot problems are actually very common in women. In fact, women are often more susceptible to foot issues than men. This is largely because women’s feet are simply not designed to withstand the pressure and use that most females are subjecting them to today. Your feet serve four primary purposes:

 

  • To support your body weight.
  • To serve as shock absorbers.
  • To propel you forward.
  • To help you balance.

 

Each of your feet contains 26 bones, 33 joints, and over 120 muscles, tendons, ligaments, and nerves. While these components normally work together to serve the above purposes, if one becomes injured or damaged, you will experience one of several foot problems that may be anywhere from uncomfortable to debilitating.

 

Common Feet Problems in Women

1. Stress Fractures

Generally more of an issue for athletes, stress fractures are a particular warning flag in active woman. Stress fractures tend to be a precursor to more complex issues, especially for women who are pre-menopausal and may be suffering from bone loss. If you feel your symptom is getting worse, you may visit the sports podiatrist for a medical diagnosis and proper treatment.

2. Heel Pain

Heel pain is typically an issue of overuse; however, it can become a bit more complicated if left untreated. Appropriate support and the right shoe fit are important for preventing as well as treating heel pain problems.

3. Nerve Pain

Several issues, most often located in the upper body, can cause nerve pain in the feet. Some of the most common are:

  • Peroneal Nerve Dysfunction – caused by compressing nerves in the legs by sitting cross-legged
  • Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome – caused by a pinched ankle nerve (essentially carpal tunnel in the feet)

Nerve compression in other parts of the spine and legs can also manifest as foot issues, so it is important to work with your podiatrist to get to the bottom of the issue.

4. Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar fasciitis is one of the most common causes of foot pain in women. The pain associated with this condition is the worst first thing in the morning, but it can be painful all day long. Properly stretching the feet and wearing shoes to cushion the feet is important in treating this condition.

5. Bunion

An issue that can cause both skin irritation and foot pain, a bunion is a bony lump that forms on the toe. It is most common on the big toe, but it can also form on the pinky toe. Issues are most commonly caused by the rubbing of the bony protuberance against the shoe.

6. Arch Pain

Pain in arches can be caused by different factors. Also known as arch strain, this issue can range in severity from slight discomfort to a debilitating foot issue. If left untreated, this issue can contribute to more significant problems, so it’s important to identify the cause and find an effective treatment.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How to Get Healthy Feet

Foot problems can be caused by a variety of different factors; however, taking care of feet can go a long way toward preventing many of the common feet problems in women. Follow these tips to take care of your feet and avoid many of the most prevalent problems.

  • Wash and moisturize. – Keeping your feet clean and moisturized will help you avoid foot problems, like blisters, corns, inflamed bunions, and other irritations.
  • Wear the right shoes. – Making sure your shoes fit properly and provide the right amount of support will also protect your feet. If you need help finding the right shoes, work with a podiatrist or a specialized shoe store.
  • Check your support. – Support is important for preventing arch issues and improving alignment. Don’t just pick something up off of the rack, though. Look for customized arch support or inserts to insure that you’re getting exactly what you need.
  • Stretch your feet. – Stretching and manipulating your feet and joints will help you avoid common issues, like plantar fasciitis. You should seek the guidance of a certified foot therapist to make sure you are performing stretches correctly.
  • Reduce inflammation. – Icing and elevating your feet can help reduce irritating inflammation as can taking or applying an NSAID with physician’s guidance.
  • See your podiatrist. – Although a great deal of foot care is simply common sense, if you’re dealing with a specific condition or recurring issue, you may need the insight of a specialist. Seek out a care provider to help you take care of your feet.

 

As a woman, you’re likely on your feet a lot. And if your feet don’t feel good, then most likely, you don’t feel good. Use these tips and see a physician as needed so you can continue doing all of those things you love, including wearing cute shoes.

Published by Elena Tahora