Our Portland Area-Podiatrists Treat Common Causes of Foot Pain in Menopause
At Northwest Extremity Specialists, our Portland-area podiatrists believe that foot pain shouldn’t keep you on the sidelines. If menopause-related changes are causing discomfort in your feet and ankles, we’re here to help. Contact our office to schedule an appointment.
Menopause symptoms can vary widely from person to person. Hot flashes, mood swings, night sweats, and changes in libido are talked about more often than foot pain, but you’re definitely not alone if menopause has left you with sore and aching feet.
A Foot Doctor Explains Why Your Feet and Legs and Feet Hurt During Menopause
It’s understandable to be frustrated by sudden pain in your legs and feet, but there are three main reasons why this can be a common menopause symptom.
Menopause is characterized by a significant decrease in estrogen and progesterone levels. These hormonal changes can lead to changes in the distribution of body fat. Some women may experience fat redistribution to the lower extremities, including the feet, which can impact the way the feet bear weight. When excess body weight places additional stress on the feet, particularly the plantar fascia, this can increase the risk of plantar fasciitis—a common cause of heel pain.
If you’ve noticed that your skin feels dry and itchy, that’s because estrogen affects skin hydration and elasticity. As estrogen levels drop, the skin's ability to retain moisture diminishes, leading to dryness. Hormonal changes also affect the oil (sebaceous) glands in the skin that produce natural oils that help keep the skin lubricated and hydrated. In some cases, dry skin can lead to painful heel fissures.
Reduced Physical Activity
As women go through menopause, they may become less physically active due to symptoms like hot flashes, fatigue, or mood swings. Over time, reduced physical activity can lead to muscle weakness, decreased flexibility, and an increased risk of leg and foot pain.
Other Underlying Conditions
Foot pain can also be caused by various medical conditions such as arthritis, diabetes, and circulatory problems. These conditions may become more prevalent with age and can coincide with the menopausal transition. For example, osteoporosis often occurs in postmenopausal women due to the loss of estrogen and can lead to painful fractures in the legs, feet, or ankles.
How to Treat Sore Feet in Menopause
Although foot pain during menopause is common, that doesn’t mean you need to let pain keep you from making the most of each day. Often, a few simple lifestyle changes can help you manage sore feet in menopause.
Wear Comfortable Shoes With Orthotic Insoles
We understand that fashion is important to you, but well-fitting shoes with good arch support and cushioning are crucial. If you’re struggling with sore feet, you’ll want to avoid high heels and shoes that squeeze or pinch your feet. Make sure you're wearing the proper shoe size and choose footwear with adequate room for your toes.
Insoles can provide additional support and cushioning for your feet. Custom insoles are preferable to over-the-counter products since they are made to fit the specific anatomy of your foot.
Many women struggle to find time for self-care. However, a little bit of pampering can do wonders for your sore feet.
Regularly massaging your feet can improve blood circulation and relieve tension in the foot muscles. You can either massage your feet by hand or invest in one of the various massage devices on the market.
After that foot massage, try soaking your feet in warm water with Epsom salt or essential oils. This can help relax the muscles and reduce soreness. Follow up with a moisturizing cream or lotion to keep your feet hydrated.
Make Good Nutrition a Priority
Weight gain is common during menopause, but being overweight can put extra stress on your feet. A balanced diet with plenty of lean protein, whole grains, and fresh fruits and vegetables can help you maintain a healthy weight while reducing the inflammation that can lead to joint pain throughout the body.
When you’re planning your meals, don’t forget to allow for adequate fluid intake. Proper hydration is important for overall health and can help reduce muscle cramps and soreness in the feet. Infused water recipes that add flavor with lemons, cucumbers, berries, or fresh mint can be a fun way to boost your water intake.
Our Portland-Area Podiatrists Can Help You Find Relief From Foot and Ankle Pain
If self-care strategies aren’t enough to keep your foot and ankle pain in check, you’ll want to schedule an appointment with our experienced Portland-area podiatrists. We can examine your feet, perform diagnostic tests, and develop a customized treatment plan that incorporates advanced therapeutic techniques such as shockwave therapy for heel pain caused by plantar fasciitis.
While menopause itself is not a direct cause of diabetes, women are more susceptible to developing type 2 diabetes during this life stage. If you have diabetes, we can provide preventive care and address any concerns you may have related to issues such as peripheral neuropathy. We’re here to answer your questions, help you evaluate your treatment options, and provide the care you need to enjoy pain-free days with your loved ones.