Women need to pay particular attention to foot care to avoid unnecessary foot problems, especially those caused by improper hosiery and footwear. Because May is National Women’s Health Month, today, Dr. Hubert Lee at CarePlus Foot & Ankle Specialists in Bellevue, WA, is sharing conditions that typically affect the health of women’s feet.
Podiatrists typically find high heels orthopedically and biomechanically faulty. For example, high heels may contribute to back and knee problems, shortened calf muscles, an awkward, unnatural gait, and disabling injuries in falls. Over time, high heels can cause enough modifications in the feet to damage their function.
Toward Greater Comfort
Thankfully, there are ways to alleviate some of the effects of wearing high heels. They can limit the time they wear them, alternating with good-quality flats or oxford-type shoes for a portion of the day. Tight high heels add to the abuse. It’s a good idea to shop for shoes in the afternoon because feet tend are typically larger later in the day.
Nylon hosiery is also an invitation to foot problems. Nylon doesn’t breathe, and its heat causes excessive sweat, creating a perfect place for fungal infections to grow. And nylon, which tends to be coarse, is even more so when it becomes damp.
Pregnant women need to practice good foot health to prevent discomfort and pain. Since the body goes through changes and develops a new weight-bearing posture, women should wear shoes with broad heels that absorb shock and provide support. Added body weight also calls for additional support to prevent foot “breakdown.”
Women Over 65: As we get older, the fat pads located on the bottom of the feet begin to wear away. Some foot problems can be relieved by wearing well-constructed, properly fitted shoes with a soft, flexible top that will provide cushioning and conform to the shape of your feet. In addition, soles should be lightweight, with enough shock-absorbing quality and flexibility to provide solid footing and not be slippery.
Women are subject to numerous foot problems, most of which can also occur to men, including:
- Bunions: Crooked big toe joints that become tender and swollen.
- Achilles Tendinitis: Swelling of the Achilles tendon, which is the link between the heel bone and calf muscle.
- Metatarsalgia: Pain in the ball of the foot, often the result of wearing high heels.
- Hammertoe: A disorder in which the toe is restricted to a claw-like position.
- Plantar Fasciitis: Swelling of the long band of connective tissue that runs from the ball to the heel of the foot.
- Neuromas: Inflamed, benign growths of nerves, usually between the third and fourth toes.
- Haglund’s Deformity: Bone enlargement at the back of the heel bone where the Achilles tendon attaches to the bone.
If you’re noticing these or any other issues that are affecting your feet, contact Dr. Hubert Lee at CarePlus Foot & Ankle Specialists in Bellevue, WA to schedule a visit. You can schedule an appointment online or by calling us at 425-455-0936.