Women running in fall clothesMany of my women patients have taken up running, both indoors on treadmills and outdoors. And that's great news since the health benefits of running are well known. However, many of those patients are ending up with painful foot conditions as a result. Women tend to have more painful foot problems when they run than men do. 

Check out the reasons for the most common painful foot conditions in women and how we treat them.


Women runners with flat feet are more at risk for developing a neuroma. High heel wearers are even more apt to develop this painful condition which worsens over time. A neuroma most commonly develops between the third and fourth toes. Symptoms can include tingling, pain, burning, and numbness. As your Seattle podiatrist I use variety of treatments for this condition including orthotics, MLS laser, and education about proper footwear.

Plantar Fasciitis

Women runners get a double whammy when it comes to developing heel pain or plantar fasciitis. Anyone involved in high impact sports is more at risk and women are more prone to develop it than men. If you’re a woman runner who happens to love high heels you have the trifecta of risk for heel pain. Women who wear high heels often develop a shortened achilles or calf muscle. Shortened calf muscles are often a big factor in causing heel pain. Treatment includes avoiding high heels, low-dye taping, stretching exercises before running, OTC supportsorthotics.

Stress Fracture

While stress fractures are common in both men and women runners, certain conditions put women at greater risk for developing one. Estrogen plays a significant role in bone strength. Once women begin menopause their estrogen decreases and they lose bone. Sometimes that bone loss can progress to osteoporosis. Bones can be more fragile in women who are very thin, don’t get proper nutrition to keep bones healthy, or develop amenorrhea from an eating disorder. Immediate treatment requires rest and immobilization with a walking boot. Patients with osteoporosis will require treatment to improve their bone health and patients with an eating disorder will require mental health counseling.

If you’re a woman who uses running as a way to stay fit or just for the sheer joy of it, I recommend taking the extra time to ensure that your feet and physical health are in tip top shape so you can keep doing what you love.

Shin Splints

Women runners are also more likely to develop shin splints. Ramping up mileage too quickly, transitioning from a treadmill to outside surfaces, wearing unsupportive and worn out shoes, and running on roads or other uneven surfaces can all put you at risk for this painful condition.

Preventing Injuries When Running on a Treadmill in Seattle

While treadmill running is great for avoiding the cold, run, and uneven surfaces, it has it's own hazards. Check on my blog on, "9 Ways to Prevent Injuries When Running on A Treadmill"

Need Relief from Foot Pain in Seattle, Washington? Request an Appointment Now

Don't let foot pain cause you to miss out on the activities you enjoy. Complete the contact form on this page or call our office, the Foot and Ankle Center of Lake City, at 206-368-7000 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Rion Berg.

Most new patients are seen within 1-2 week's time. During your initial visit, Dr. Berg will spend up to 30 minutes getting to know you, your podiatry complaints, and your goals so that he can recommend the treatment best meets your needs. Don’t wait—contact us today.

North Seattle Foot & Ankle Specialist Dr. Rion Berg offers compassionate podiatry care for all foot and ankle problems to those living in Seattle Washington and the surrounding areas. Call us today at 206-368-7000 for an immediate appointment or request an appointment online.

If you run into any foot problems along your daily path, 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.



Dr. Rion Berg
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A podiatrist in North Seattle treating families for over 40 years.
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