Menopause is a stage in a female body in which menstrual periods stop permanently and the woman is no longer able to bear children. The menopause period starts at the age of 49 to 52, although the periods start becoming irregular at the age of 45, and slowly stop at the age of 48 or so. If the woman doesn’t have any bleeding for a year, it is then said that she has moved to menopause period.
Although the process occurs in the uterus and the areas surrounding it, it tends to affect the whole body in some way, from their hands and feet to their internal organs. We are going to talk about the affects of menopause on the feet today, as studies suggest only 17% of people reported their foot health as fair after the age of 50.
Foot pain is a large concern for many women who recently come to their 50’s, as nearly 80% adults, even men, have experienced at least one type of foot problem in that age. Why does it happen? As the foot changes because of many decades of its use, at least one of the 26 bones, 120 muscles, 33 joints and millions of nerves tends to get damaged when the whole body undergoes a severe change inside during menopause.
So, below are some of the most common problems that arise in the foot after menopause, with their treatments. Hope you benefit from them!
Foot fatigue is categorized as the over-tiring of the muscles of the foot due to their excessive use while standing or walking. The symptoms include pain, swelling in the heel, and random spikes of pain at regular intervals.
- You can massage your foot gently for 10-20 minutes, and can increase the time if the foot does not get better.
- Another way to get rid of it is to roll a ball or bottle below your foot to loosen the muscles of your foot.
Calluses and Corns
Calluses are toughened areas around the skin in places that are subjected to a lot of friction and force. Studies show that more than 27% people had experienced calluses in different ages. They are not harmful, but are pretty annoying and can lead to various infections and problems, like ulceration and skin infection.
- One should wear shoes that are comfortable and shield the heel and foot from friction.
- Padding of the feet should be done to prevent or avoid foot calluses.
- You can also use orthopedic supports and shoe inserts to support the foot and protect it from unnecessary contact with hard materials that can lead to producing friction.
A blister is a small pimple like pocket containing a fluid (which can either be pus, blood, plasma, lymph or serum). It is caused by excessive rubbing, burning, chemical exposure or any type of infection. Although they are not harmful, one should not pop them unless the doctor tells you or if deemed necessary for medical purposes.
Although there isn’t any treatment for blisters, one should do all they can to prevent them from happening as they are very cumbersome to deal with, below are some preventions one should apply for reduce the chance of blisters from happening.
- Use any type of lubricant, or talcum powder, to reduce the friction on places where blisters usually happen.
- You can use sunscreen to avoid blisters that happen because of hot temperatures.
- Use protective gloves to protect yourself when handling harmful chemicals and cleaning products.
Plantar Fasciitis is a disorder that results in pain in the bottom of the foot, preferably the heel. It is very painful; with the most severe timings being the first steps of the day and after a long time of bed rest. The pain can also occur when one bends the foot up or down. The causes are not clear as of today, but the common risks include obesity, long periods of running and lots of excess exercises.
- Plantar Fasciitis lasts for 3-6 months, so treatment is done for a long period of time until the issue is completely resolved.
- For the first weeks, you should be on complete bed rest while taking the doctors’ prescribed medication.
- After a month’s time or so, one should start simple stretches if the doctor recommends. Start out slowly with simple ones and gradually work your way up to the most flexible one till your foot is completely healed.
- If the treatment is not successful and you do not feel any change in your foot’s condition, physiotherapy, orthotics, and steroid injections are your best bet. Consult the doctor and follow his/her instructions. If none of the things stated above work, then the last way and best way to healing are surgery.
Hammer toe is a deformity produced in the second, third, or fourth toe of the foot, causing it to be permanently bent, resembling a hammer. The most common causes are the use of uncomfortable and poorly fitting shoes, but other causes include the excessive bending of the toe for a long time, causing the bone and muscles to shorten. It can also be caused by muscle, nerve or joint damage.
- The treatment for a small bending is usually physical therapy, and the use of tight fitting shoes accompanied by spacious toe boxes with each toe.
- It the issue is severe, surgery is the only option as longstanding cases require podiatric surgery due to the hardness of the deformed bone.
- One can also strengthen the toe through various exercises to prevent hammer toes.
Mallet toe is similar to Hammer toe, with the only difference being the different location of the deformity, that is, in the distal interphalangeal joint. The treatment is also the same as the other, but visiting a doctor first is suggested for correct diagnosis.
These are not all, as many other issues can also arise from menopause, don’t let them dishearten you. If you have any other tips regarding the above problems, feel free to share them in the comment section, they might just help someone who doesn’t have any of the above!
Lisa Miller is founder and editor in chief at FootCareSource.com, a foot health blog dedicated to providing trusted advice and information about foot health, footwear, and foot friendly lifestyle choices. Check out her blog to find more about Lisa and her work.