Hello EmpowHER Readers! Thank you for inviting me to write about our remarkable feet, and how they affect our entire body.
Pain and problems in the female foot are common—four times greater than for men. One study found that eighty-two percent of U.S. women report having foot pain, seventy-two percent have a foot deformity, and of all foot surgeries in the U.S., women undergo ninety percent of them.
Incredibly, it isn't just the woman's foot that leads in pain and problems. Females suffer with more ankle, leg, knee, hip, back, and neck problems. Clearly, when it comes to pain, this is one place women have too much equality!
Don't despair! You can do simple things to prevent and alleviate pain now. Before I get to that, I want to explain why women are more prone than men to experience muscle-skeletal pain and ailments.
It All Starts With the Feet
Feet are your foundation—whether you are man, woman or child. Strong, well-functioning feet and ankles are essential for support and balance. Working in unison with the body, your feet rapidly adapt to maintain balance over a variety of surface, whether you are running, walking, jogging, carrying a backpack, baby, purse, or all three, or even recovering from a sudden stumble. Feet do it all.
Having incredibly dynamic feet is great until something with them goes wrong. The smallest imbalance in your feet shows up as larger problems up above—in your knees, hips, back, and/or neck. Thus, a misaligned foot leads to a misaligned hip and/or back and/or neck.
Our body depends on agonist-antagonist muscles pulling against each other around our dozens of joints, and any joint imbalance will cause weakness of the muscles on one side of the joint and tension and strain of the muscles on the other side. The result is pain.
Further, these muscle-skeletal misalignments are more likely to occur due to the unique shape of the woman's "normal" foot.
How is Woman's Foot Unique?
Compared with males, the female’s foot is generally shorter, narrower, and the length of instep is not as long.