Whenever a discussion regarding menopause pops up, it is sure to lead toward certain most common but crucial aspects such as signs and symptoms. These include hot flashes, night sweats, mood swings, irregular periods, and weight gain.
There are other aspects of menopause that aren’t generally known, and one of them is heel pain. While women might associate this sudden pain in their heels with some other issues, it can often be due to the onset of menopause.
The risk of soft tissue injuries is lower in premenopausal women if compared to a similar biological condition in men called andropause.
Once menopause begins and the level of estrogen drops, the risks related to such injuries increase all of a sudden. This is why middle-aged women tend to experience more heel pain than younger ones.
So, if you have ever wondered, “Are heel pain and menopause related?” We’re here to answer that critical question today. Let’s dive right into it.
What is the Connection Between Heel Pain and Menopause?
The reason why some women experience heel pain during menopause is that menopause often brings about pain in the feet.
Some of the reasons for this pain are as follows:
1. Loss of Collagen
As menopause lowers estrogen levels, it also impacts the production of collagen. With less collagen, the elasticity of the skin and tendons decreases, affecting the body’s healing capacity and amplifying the risk of developing joint pain and soft tissue injury.
2. Loss of Bone Mineral Density
Osteopenia is a condition common among women over the age of 50 and signifies loss of bone mineral density or BMD. Osteoporosis is a disease that often develops among people with osteopenia. The major cause is a decrease in bone mass and bone mineral density. As a result, a person’s bones become weak, thereby increasing the risk of fractures.
3. Plantar Fasciitis
Plantar fasciitis is a condition or inflammation that results in heel pain. The production of less collagen during menopause can often cause this condition.
4. Weight Gain
Other changes due to menopause can also cause foot pain, such as weight gain. Weight gain puts extra pressure on your feet, thereby making your heel or foot hurt.
How to Look After Your Feet During Menopause?
While collagen loss or decreased estrogen levels are beyond a woman’s control, there are a few things you can do to manage the foot pain and heel pain occurring due to menopause.
Keep the following tips in mind to gain some much-needed relief:
1. Consume More Collagen
The body begins to lose more collagen during the phases of perimenopause and menopause. This can be dealt with by eating foods that are rich in collagen, such as bone broth, legumes, chicken, and citrus fruits. You can also consult your doctor to see if they can recommend some collagen supplements.
2. Manage Your Weight
Gaining weight due to menopause can affect your gait and posture, which is also one of the reasons why some women experience foot pain.
By managing your weight, you help in taking away a substantial amount of stress placed on your feet due to the added weight. Therefore, it can aid in reducing the pain in your heels.
3. Get Rid of High Heels
A variety of foot complications are caused due to high heels. If you have heel pain and are in the menopausal stage, it’s time to switch your high heels with comfortable shoes to let your feet breathe.
4. Look for Softer Surfaces
Standing on hard surfaces can contribute to your heel pain. So, if you’re accustomed to going on daily runs or walks, make sure to opt for softer surfaces and save your feet from discomfort.
5. Resort to Supplements
Adding supplements to your diet is imperative as you age and even more so once you get close to menopause. Consider adding calcium, magnesium, and vitamin supplements to your daily routine.
Menopause can occur during your 40s or 50s, with 45 to 55 years being the usual age bracket during which women experience menopause.
Some signs and symptoms of menopause include hot flashes, irregular periods, night sweats, and mood swings.
Yes, heel pain and menopause can be related.
Foot pain can occur during menopause due to collagen loss, among other reasons.
A couple of the ways to deal with foot pain in relation to menopause are to consume more collagen, avoid high heel shoes, and keep your weight in check.
If you’re a woman going through menopause, heel pain or foot pain need not become a reason for you to stay less active physically. Instead, if you engage in fewer physical activities, it could affect your health negatively in other ways and also not help your heel pain in any manner.
Therefore, if you’ve been experiencing heel pain, consult your doctor so you can perhaps be referred to a physical therapist or podiatrist. A medical professional can only determine what’s going on with your foot and recommend the best possible treatment accordingly.