March is Women’s History Month. At Superior Foot & Ankle Center we thought we’d help celebrate our Los Angeles County women by providing tips on taking good care of their feet.
Although men can also get bunions, it is a deformity that plagues women more frequently and this is due in part to shoes. High heels that force the foot forward exerting excess pressure on the toes and styles with narrow, pointy toe boxes are a contributing factor in the development and progression of bunions. In some cases, the tendency for the toe joint to move out of place is genetic. There are exercises that can be done to strengthen toes and feet and help prevent bunions. The podiatrist may also recommend a custom orthotic device to realign the foot properly and relieve pressure on the toes. If you notice your toe moving out of place, even slightly, it’s important that you make an appointment at our Long Beach office by calling (562) 420-9800. The earlier our podiatrists, Dr. Victoria M. Foley and Dr. Constance Ornelas, are able to diagnose a bunion the greater chances of being able to slow its progression.
Importance of Good Footwear
Well-made footwear for women is important for other reasons beyond bunion prevention. It’s essential that your shoes have good arch support (often lacking in fashion boots and some other styles) in order to avoid heel pain. On average, women walk 3 miles more a day than men, and a cushioned insole can greatly increase comfort. A less positive statistic: it’s estimated that up to 90% of women are wearing shoes that are too small for their feet. Get your feet professionally measured when buying new shoes and understand that your foot size can change over time.
As You Age
It’s natural as you get older for your feet so show some signs of “wear and tear.” However, that does not mean that foot pain is “normal” as a senior. Fat pads on the soles and heels may deteriorate requiring you to add some gel or other padding to your shoes. Be on the lookout for stiffness in joints that may signal arthritis. It’s important to maintain a regular exercise routine and not to sit with your legs crossed for long periods of time to encourage good circulation. You may also notice symptoms in your feet that point to other, more serious systemic conditions such as diabetes or arterial disease. Alert your podiatrist to unusual symptoms such as loss of hair on your legs or toes, cold feet, or decreased sensation in your feet.
Healthy feet help successful women get where they want to go! If you have questions or concerns about your feet, don’t hesitate to contact us.