The sexes finally rule equally in something. Unfortunately, that something is foot pain. Women do tend to suffer more, because they put fashion before comfort. But the most common causes of foot pain, like plantar fasciitis, bunions, and high arches, assault both sexes equally.
It’s on the bottom. The most common cause of foot pain — well, it’s on your heel actually — is from plantar fasciitis. It hits you underneath or just behind your heel where the Achilles tendon attaches to the heel bone.
But I’m so young. “People in their mid 30s and 40s are still very active. But that’s when you begin to lose elasticity in the Achilles tendon. That tightness means you’re susceptible to plantar fasciitis,” says Todd Falls, DPM, with Montclair Podiatry in Birmingham.
You may never know. “You can also injure your foot and not realize you’ve done it, like a slight slip as you’re walking or you step off the curb incorrectly. You can be suffering from things that aren’t obvious, like stress fractures, enlarged nerve of foot, gout or tendinitis,” says Dr. Falls.
It’s time! “If you have any kind of foot or heel pain that lasts longer than five days and is not relieved by rest or taking anti-inflammatories, then it could be something more serious,” says Dr. Falls. So call your podiatrist. You don’t need to hurt.
Comfort is actually a preventative. “If people would think about using the truly appropriate shoe for their activity and not worry about the style so much, there’d be much less pain out there,” says Dr. Falls.
Try switching shoes throughout the day. Not that you have to give up your look to keep your feet healthy, but maybe choose to wear walking shoes to and from meetings, the office and even inside your office. Then slip on those dressy, less supportive shoes only when hit a meeting, show a house, or enter the courthouse.
You can’t blame high heels. “Wearing high heels does not cause any condition,” says Dr. Falls. “But they don’t help. If you have foot or heel problems, than higher heels can cause more symptoms.”
The job doesn’t help. “Policemen, hairstylists, delivery men, real estate agents, even paralegals lugging boxes to and from courtrooms. Any professional on their feet for most of the day, if you’re hurting, see a podiatrist,” says Dr. Falls. “Custom foot supports for your shoes or simple stretching exercises can treat a lot of different foot pains. We can help.”
by Jane Ehrhardt