An overwhelming majority of American women will deal with foot pain at some point in their lives. Studies of women over 65 indicate that as many as one third have chronic foot discomfort or stiffness.
While there is a wide range of problems afflicting women, there is one cause that is responsible for more issues than any other: high-heeled shoes with narrow, cramped toe boxes.
While fashionable, these shoes increase the load on the ball of the foot and lead to such foot deformities as:
Hammertoes – Hammertoes occur when the toes are squeezed over a long period of time, altering the shape of the joint and causing one toe to rise up above the others. Claw toes and mallet toes are common varieties.
Bunions – A bunion forms when the big toe moves out of place, turning inward and causing the joint where the toe moves the foot to protrude. This can make it challenging to wear shoes comfortably.
Haglund’s deformity – Also known as “pump bump,” Haglund’s deformity is a painful enlargement of the bone at the back at the heel.
Neuroma – A neuroma is a benign growth of nerve tissue that can create a lack of feeling or other uncomfortable sensations such as burning, tingling, or a feeling like there’s something in your foot. Neuromas are frequently found between the third and fourth toes, where they are known as Morton’s neuroma.
Plantar Fasciitis – This is a painful irritation of the soft tissue along the bottom of the foot. It is characterized by heel pain, especially first thing in the morning.
Of course, not all women’s foot health issues are footwear-related. When it comes to foot disease, or to podiatric symptoms of illnesses such as cardiovascular disease or diabetes, women are as vulnerable as men.
If you have a concern about the health or well-being of your feet, ankles, or lower legs, the first thing to do is to schedule a visit to your foot doctor. With years of specialized training and experience, a board-certified podiatrist is the best-qualified medical professional to help you.
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