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5 Reasons Why Your Feet Hurt During Menopause



menopause feet hurt

During menopause, changes can happen to a woman's body, from hormone level changes to bone density loss. While symptoms like hot flashes and mood swings are commonly seen and talked about when discussing menopause, foot pain might not be one of the first things that come to mind. However, foot pain during menopause is a real issue for some women and can have a direct impact on the quality of life.


Menopause is when a woman's menstrual cycle or period stops. This usually happens in, her late 40s to early 50s. During menopause, there is less estrogen and progesterone, two key female sex hormones. These hormonal changes can lead to many symptoms, including lower bone density, joint pain, and muscle stiffness.



Reasons Why Your Feet Hurt During Menopause Include


menopause feet hurt

1.Your bones become weaker

One of the big reasons why women experience foot pain during menopause is caused by changes in bone density, or your bones becoming weaker. Estrogen plays a very important role in bone health by helping to regulate the cells that are responsible for making new bone. As estrogen levels drop during menopause, the cells become less active, and bone density lowers, leading to health problems like osteopenia or osteoporosis, which can make the bones more likely to break.



2. Increase in inflammation and or joint pain

Hormone changes during menopause can also lead to inflammation and joint pain all over your body, including the feet. Estrogen has anti-inflammatory properties, and lowering estrogen levels during menopause can lead to increased inflammation. This increase in inflammation can make pre-existing foot conditions worse, or bring about new ones.


Types of arthritis, especially rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis, are common causes of foot pain in menopausal women. Arthritis attacks the joints in the feet, causing swelling, stiffness, and pain, especially during standing or walking.



3. Weight gain

menopause feet hurt

Menopause is often associated with weight gain, which can place added strain on the feet. Putting on weight quickly, especially if the weight gain is well above your ideal weight, can increase the pressure on the feet and exacerbate existing foot problems such as flat feet, plantar fasciitis, and bunions.


The arches of the feet may flatten or collapse over time. Plantar fasciitis, another common foot problem, occurs when the insertion of the plantar fascia, a thick ligament located at the heel becomes inflamed. The key sign of plantar fasciitis is heel pain.


Bunions, which are bony bumps that form at the base of the big toe, can also become more painful during menopause as well.



4. Poor circulation

menopause feet hurt

The hormonal changes during menopause can also make your circulation worse. Poor circulation can lead to many foot problems including plantar fasciitis, and lower wound healing. Estrogen helps to regulate blood flow by increasing the size of the inside of blood vessels, known as dilation. When estrogen levels fall during menopause, arteries have a harder time dilating in your feet, which makes your blood flow worse and can increase your risk of conditions like Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD). Symptoms of PAD include pain, cramping, and numbness in the feet and legs. Poor blood flow to the feet also makes it much harder to heal from injuries, including skin injuries, which can increase your risk of developing an ulcer or a sore on your foot.


A foot ulcer if not healed in a timely fashion, can increase your risk of serious infection, hospitalization, and amputation.



5. Lifestyle factors/age-related changes

Many women do experience changes in shoe size and foot shape as they age, which can to shoes that once fit properly, now being too small. Wearing high heels or shoes that have pointy toes for example can make foot problems worse, and or lead to to pain and inflammation.


Worsening flexibility and muscle strength, which can be common with aging, if you are not doing some sort of resistance training or stretching can change the biomechanics of the feet and increase the risk of injuries such as strains, sprains, and stress fractures.



What to Do If Your Feet Hurt With Menopause

menopause feet hurt

Here are some tips that help to prevent or manage foot pain during menopause:


1.Wear the right shoes: Invest in shoes that allow for your foot to move as naturally as possible, and also have room for the toes. Avoid high heels and shoes with narrow-toe boxes.


2. Keep a healthy weight: Staying active and following a healthy diet is key for health overall, foot health included. Losing excess weight can lower stress on the feet and increase overall foot health.


3. Practice foot exercises: Stretching and strengthening exercises for the feet can improve flexibility, stability, and muscle strength. Exercises such as toe curls, ankle circles, and calf stretches can help prevent foot pain and reduce the risk of injuries.


4. Be mindful of inflammation: Incorporate anti-inflammatory foods such as fatty fish, leafy greens, and berries into your diet to help lower inflammation throughout the body, including the feet. Avoiding inflammatory foods such as processed foods, refined sugar, and trans fats may also help with pain.


5. Find a professional: See a podiatrist or foot doctor if foot pain continues or worsens. We can diagnose any underlying foot problem, and recommend treatment options, like orthotic inserts, physical therapy, or more.


6. Manage menopausal symptoms: Talk to your PCP or primary care doctor about options for managing menopausal symptoms.



Key Takeaways

menopause feet hurt

Your feet hurting during menopause can be caused by a combination of hormone changes, age-related foot changes, lifestyle choices, and foot conditions you already have. By addressing underlying hormone imbalances, keeping a healthy lifestyle, wearing the right shoes, and seeking treatment by a doctor when needed, women can get rid of foot pain and improve their overall foot health during this stage of life.




Schedule Your Appointment At Direct Podiatry Arizona Today

Are you experiencing foot pain and are you in the Phoenix area? My name is Dr. Tarr, and I am the owner of Direct Podiatry Arizona in Tempe. To view my available appointment times, click here.


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