Dr. Berg's Foot Facts

Posts for tag: pregnancy

When a new patient comes to my office, it's more likely to be a woman than a man. What could possibly be the reason for this difference? Let's delve into some significant differences than can cause women to have more foot problems than men.

Foot Structure
Differences in the structure of women's feet can put them at greater risk for foot injuries. Some of those differences include a greater tendency to have lax or loose ligaments, a wider forefoot, shorter arch length, shorter metatarsals, greater plantar flexion and range of motion than men.

Jobs That Require Standing
While it's true that more men than women work in construction, highway work, and perform manual labor, more women than men have jobs where they need to stand. According the National Center for Education Statistics, roughly 75% of teachers and 90% of nurses are women. Other jobs dominated by women are those who work in retail, hairdressers, servers, and house cleaners. Standing for long periods of time is very hard on feet due to the amount of pressure the feet have to withstand.

High Heels
Shoes play a role in the type of problems women experience. Women who wear high heels are highly prone to developing bunions, hammertoes, and neuromas. To prevent these problems from occurring or getting worse women should wear shoes with heels one inch or lower with a toe box that doesn't squish their toes together.

Obesity
According to the National Institutes of Health women and men have about the same prevalence of obesity, but women were more likely to be very obese. The more someone weighs the more pressure on the feet placing people with obesity at greater risk for plantar fasciitis.  

Pregnancy
Weight gain during pregnancy can put women at greater risk for heel pain, just like women who are already overweight. In addition, pregnancy triggers a release of hormones that loosens ligaments, which can contribute to foot strain and increased foot size.

Pregnant women should wear shoes that accommodate swelling and increased foot size. Shoes should be supportive and have a wide toe box. Women should never wear high heels when pregnant. Added weight and pressure on the ball of the foot and toes make women more vulnerable than ever to foot problems. In addition, pregnancy alters the center of gravity for women. Adding high heels increases the chance for falls.

Call us today at 206-368-7000 for an appointment. Often same day for emergencies and less than 2 weeks for chronic foot pain. You can also request an appointment online.

For more information about foot and ankle problems, download our eBook, "No More Foot Pain".

In addition, our newsletter "Foot Sense" comes out monthly.  You can also check out our past issues. Every issue contains a mouth-watering recipe and can be printed out for easier reading!

Seattle foot and ankle specialist, Dr. Rion Berg offers foot care for patients with bunions, heel pain, diabetes, fungal toenails, ingrown nails, and surgical solutions when needed to residents of Seattle, Bellevue, Kirkland, Shoreline, Lake Forest Park, Mountlake Terrace, Lynnwood and other surrounding suburbs.

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By Dr. Rion Berg
August 31, 2016
Category: Heel pain
Tags: heel pain   neuromas   pregnancy  

Hilaria Baldwin, wife of Alec Baldwin, is in the spotlight sporting high heels and lifting weights while pregnant. As a Seattle podiatrist I just can't let this one go, so this is my message to Hilaria.  Although you might think showing off your prowess is a good thing, it can be quite damaging to pregnant young women who may follow your footsteps. First, wearing high heels are big "no no" for women who are pregnant. And adding weights to the mix will only make things worse.

Although exercising during pregnancy is important, it's helpful to your body to take things down a notch instead of proving you can do as much or more than you did before you got pregnant. Yoga, walking, and swimming are all great exercises to keep you fit. It's important to check with your OB-GYN to make sure your body can handle the exercise you plan to do.

Pregnancy not only adds weight to your frame but changes your entire center of gravity. Common symptoms during pregnancy are swollen feet, back pain, and compromised balance. The last thing you want to do is add more problems to your body at a time when you should be more cautious.

As a Seattle podiatrist, I tell my pregnant patients that their feet need more support during pregnancy to help diminish back pain and problems with balance. High heels can cause or exacerbate the following problems:

  • Calf cramps - wearing heels shortens and tightens your calf muscles leaving them prone to cramps. Changes in your body chemistry during pregnancy can worse calf cramps.

  • Compromised balance - with weight gain and changes to your center of gravity, you're more likely to have compromised balance. Wearing heels will only make things worse and increase your risk of falling.

  • Loose ligaments - hormonal changes loosen ligaments to make it easier for you to deliver your baby. Looser foot ligaments require more foot support to help prevent heel pain and the other conditions high heels already cause such as worsening bunions and neuromas.

  • Swelling - many women experience swollen feet during pregnancy; putting swollen feet in high heel with a point toe can be quite painful an should be avoided.

Instead of heels, wear shoes of 1 inch height or less and make sure you have enough room in the front so your toes aren't cramped.

More on pregnancy and your feet:

Pregnancy and Your Feet
8 Ways to Pamper Your Pregnant Feet

Call us today at 206-368-7000 for an appointment, often same day. You can also request an appointment online.

Get our free foot book "No More Foot Pain", mailed directly to your home.

Seattle foot and ankle specialist, Dr. Rion Berg offers foot care for patients with bunions, heel pain, diabetes, fungal toenails, ingrown nails, and surgical solutions when needed to residents of Seattle, Bellevue, Kirkland, Shoreline, Lake Forest Park, Mountlake Terrace, Lynnwood and other surrounding suburbs.

Follow Dr. Berg on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+