In addition to the podiatric issues that affect people regardless of gender (e.g. common foot injuries, skin problems, etc.), women face a number of unique podiatric issues. Pregnancy-related foot problems as well as problems caused by wearing unsupportive footwear can be a barrier to optimal foot health and functionality for women. Fortunately, lifestyle and pregnancy-related foot problems need not permanently affect a woman’s podiatric health. With appropriate lifestyle adjustments and the help of a skilled podiatrist, women can maintain the fitness and functionality of their feet.
Common foot ailments for women
There are various causes for foot problems in women. Many of the root problems can foster numerous foot ailments. Highlighted below are some of the most common ones seen in women.
Unsupportive footwear can cause numerous foot ailments, including:
- Ball-of-foot pain (metatarsalgia)
- Foot and ankle sprains and fractures
- Inflammation and swelling
- Nerve damage
Pregnancy can cause various foot problems, including:
- Changes in the arch and foot size: caused by hormone fluctuation during pregnancy.
- Heel pain (plantar fasciitis): caused by weight gain during pregnancy.
- Swelling (edema) of the feet and ankles: caused by increased blood volume during pregnancy.
- Toenail changes (e.g. brittleness, ridges, discoloration): caused by increased blood circulation and hormone levels during pregnancy.
- Varicose veins: caused by changes in the blood vessels during pregnancy.
Foot care for women – tips and recommendations
By adhering to the following guidelines, you can minimize foot problems and keep your feet healthy:
- Keep the toenails trimmed.
- Obtain treatment at the first sign of a problem.
- Wear comfortable, supportive shoes and socks every day.
- During pregnancy:
- Avoid standing and walking for long periods of time.
- Avoid crossing your legs while sitting.
- Change your shoe size as necessary.
- Stay hydrated and limit salt intake.
- Maintain proper nutrition.
- Go swimming or take a bath to reduce swelling.
- Rest on your left side.
Contact your doctor if you would like more information on how to maintain your feet health or if you need treatment for a foot problem. Your doctor can provide the treatment necessary to improve your podiatric fitness and functionality.