Do women really have different causes of foot pain when compared to men? Absolutely! From wearing different footwear to genetics to their passion for fashion, women’s foot pain can be the result of all of these and more.
Although most painful foot conditions can affect people of all ages and genders, some tend to be more common in women than in men. Biology is part of the problem; women’s feet tend to be structured differently from men’s feet, plus they can change even further during pregnancy. The other part is cultural—specifically, shoes. You’ve probably got a closet full of cute shoes. But not every pair might be so good for the long-term health of your feet.
Genetics Are Causing Women’s Foot Pain, Right?
So we know there are some genetic differences when it comes to men and women. And those differences could be causing women more foot pain issues. There are some obvious genetic differences that can cause women to experience foot pain. One of those big foot pain culprits is pregnancy.
Pregnant women need to observe good foot health to prevent pain and discomfort. Since the body undergoes changes and acquires a new weight-bearing stance, women should wear shoes with broad-based heels that provide support and absorb shock. Those shoes should also have a wider toe box to accommodate for any foot swelling that may occur during pregnancy. Additional body weight also calls for more support, to prevent foot breakdown.
The expectant mother often experiences swelling of her feet and ankles which can aggravate existing conditions and promote inflammation or irritation. According to Advanced Foot and Ankle Specialists, pregnancy also triggers the release of hormones that enhance laxity in ligaments, which can contribute to foot strain.
There are also genetic foot structure issues that can be causing your foot pain such as plantar fasciitis. Some genetic foot structures that attribute to plantar fasciitis and other foot problems are flat feet, a high arch, or even an abnormal pattern of walking. These can affect the way weight is distributed when you're standing and can put added stress on the plantar fascia.
Flip Flops Must be to Blame for Your Foot Pain
Even though flip flops are the go-to footwear for many casual outings, these trusty open-toed soles might end up doing more harm to your feet than you realize. If worn too frequently or for too long a period, your favorite flip-flops can lead to severe foot pain.
Your favorite flip flops could be one of the leading causes of your foot, ankle, back and hip pain. One of the biggest reasons is the way they impact the way you walk. From dragging your feet to hitting your heels with a different force than normal, these movements can throw off your natural balance and trigger pain in the feet.
Some common foot pain that can be attributed to wearing those flip flops includes plantar fasciitis, ankle pain, tendinitis and more. To learn more about foot pain associated with flip flops and ways to treat and avoid those foot problems read our blog covering the Top 5 Reasons to Skip Flip Flops.
Are Your Stilettos & High Heels to Blame?
High heels may never be a podiatrist's recommended footwear, but is there any truth in the myth that wearing those stilettos will give you bunions? Bunions often run in families, but they also can be the result of the way we walk or the shoes we wear. Additionally, studies have shown that women develop bunions far more often than men, especially as they get older.
While heels won't exactly cause bunions, they can encourage their development if your feet are susceptible. Wearing high heels forces the weight of your body onto the ball of your foot. If you are wearing narrow shoes, this force then compacts your toes into a small space, which may encourage bunions to form and may exacerbate problems associated with existing bunions.
Our team covers high heels and foot pain as well as ways to avoid or treat at home in one of our recent blogs Do High Heels Cause Bunions?
Treatment for Foot Pain
One of the best ways to treat foot pain is by regularly exercising and stretching the feet and ankles. This can help ensure that the muscles are providing the best support. Doing weekly or even daily exercises may also increase the range of motion in the feet, which can help keep a person active for as long as possible. There is a variety of simple foot stretches that can reduce tension in the foot and calf. This typically offers both rapid pain relief and a steady improvement of foot pain symptoms over time.
Looking for exercises and stretches that you can do at home? Our team put together a great list of the Top 10 Best Foot Exercises to relieve foot pain. Doing all of these every day would be the perfect way to do that, but the best thing to do is start with a few of these added to your daily routine then add one or two of these each week. Before you know it you will be doing all of these every day.
If these exercises seem like too much work, you can always try out a pair of our foot alignment socks to stretch your feet, align those toes and provide some much-needed foot pain relief. Then kick up your feet and let My Happy Feet socks do some of these exercises for you.
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