Urban Rehab Articles
Women’s Foot Health: The Highs & The Lows
Women are more prone to certain types of foot related problems than men. As women we usually have a type of shoe that we like to wear, some of us like high heels while others may prefer wedges, ballet flats or kitten heels. Some women are happy to walk around in narrow shoes that squeeze their feet because the look is more attractive than wider fitting shoe.
As women we all know that heals are uncomfortable. They do however make our posture look more appealing and while teetering precariously on our toes with our calves contracted many women feel more attractive. Research shows that approximately half on women wear heels and that around 70% of those women complain of pain. Then there are flat shoes such as ballet pumps or loafers, are they any better for us? Lots of ladies find the idea of soft lightweight shoes appealing. However these types of shoe lack structure and support and can leave the wearer in pain too.
So what is it about all of these on trend options that causes pain? Where a shoe is either too low or too high pressure is unevenly distributed. This will cause women to walk in a forced unnatural way and will often put strain and pressure on the joints. Not only can this result pain but may give rise to injuries too. As podiatrist I frequently see ladies that injured their foot due to footwear. Often ladies will experience injuries of the foot but the ankle, knee, hips and spine may also be affected.
As women we are often so invested in our footwear that we have conditioned ourselves to believe that a little pain is normal. How many times have we suffered pain while we “wear a shoe in” convincing ourselves that it is just a matter of time before a hard unforgiving shoe becomes comfortable and stops giving us blisters. However pain may be an indication that there is a problem with you footwear your or your feet. If you are experience pain, swelling or fatigue in your feet for more than a few days we recommend that you see one of our podiatrists. Women that make poor footwear choices may also suffer with bunions and problems such as corns, callouses or problematic toenails.
As a shoe lover myself this all sounds very depressing, however fret not as we podiatrists are on hand to help. If you are in doubt about your feet, do make an appointment with a qualified podiatrist. A podiatrist with a special interest ladies footwear will be able to assess your thoroughly. Personally I keep myself up to date with what is out there in terms of ladies footwear so that I can advise my patients on fashion forward options. I also work with selected shoe retailers to ensure that you get the help you need when you are looking for shoes.
A thorough check by a podiatrist should include assessing alignment, joint movement, bone, muscle and soft tissue of the foot, leg, back and sometimes up to the spine. It is important that the assessment includes non-weight bearing assessment (sitting), weight bearing (standing) assessment as well as dynamic (walking and running) assessment. Video gait analysis equipment can be used to assess if you are walking and properly. For ladies that like to run an assessment running is important as is advice on sports footwear. Furthermore podiatrists can treat issues such as bunions verrucae pedis (warts), corns, athletes foot (fungal infection) and ingrown toenails.
It is always important that a podiatrist is able to explain all of their findings clearly. Once it is determined if there is an issue and what the cause is a treatment plan will be agreed upon to get you back on track. The treatment plan may involve stretching or strengthening exercises. Orthotics may also be prescribed to support the arch of the foot or realign foot position. Orthotics are a good option for ladies who wish to wear a less structured shoe as they will add support to your footwear. If you feel that you would benefit from an assessment with a qualified podiatrists please call us at Urban Rehab and make an appointment.