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Foot Health Facts for Women

Woman holding footWomen are more vulnerable to certain foot problems than men, mainly from years of walking in narrow-fitting shoes that squeeze the toes and from high-heels that cramp the forefoot and pose risks for arch and ankle problems. 

Foot and ankle problems commonly experienced by women:

Morton's Neuroma—a thickening of nerve tissue in the ball of the foot resulting from compression and irritation of the nerve, such as from wearing shoes that have a tapered toe box or high-heeled shoes that cause the toes to be forced into the toe box.

Bunions—begin with a leaning of the big toe, gradually changing the angle of the bones over the years and slowly producing the characteristic bump. They are most often caused by an inherited faulty mechanical structure of the foot. Although both men and women can get bunions, the shoes worn by women sometimes make the deformity get progressively worse.

Heel Pain and Plantar Fasciitis—is most often caused by plantar fasciitis, although it may also be due to other causes. Although faulty foot structure is the most common cause of plantar fasciitis, in women, it may result from wearing nonsupportive shoes, such as flip-flops and ballet flats.

Ankle Sprain—While anyone can sprain an ankle, women are especially vulnerable to this injury when wearing high-heeled shoes (especially on slippery surfaces), platform-soled shoes or other improper footwear.

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