This One’s for the Girls: Common Foot Conditions Affecting Female Athletes

Every foot is different and holds special considerations tailored to the owner’s genetics, shoe preference, and activity level.  There are also conditions that may be more prevalent in the female athlete, and should be recognized so that proper treatment guidelines can be followed.  When a competitive female athlete visits our office, we know there are many factors that can lead to foot pain and injuries.

These include, but are not limited to, nutritional deficiencies, sport specific shoe issues, and osteoporosis.

Nutritional Needs- Female athletes need to maintain proper diet and nutrition to participate competitively which include appropriate levels of iron, calcium, and vitamin D.  Deficiencies in these important minerals can lead to anemia, fatigue, and bone loss making the athlete more prone to injury.

Sport Specific Shoe Gear- Many female dominated sports such as ballet, gymnastics, and figure skating require shoe gear which may lack support or put the foot in less biomechanically sound positions.  This can increase the prevalence of injuries such as ankle sprains, stress fractures, and heel pain.

Osteoporosis-  This can be a debilitating issue and is often part of a syndrome occurring in female athletes called “The Female Athlete Triad”.  Partnered with eating disorders and menstrual disturbances, osteoporosis is the final and most severe stage of the triad.  Poor diet eventually leads to bone loss which can make the incidence of stress fractures very high.  Counseling and education is important to prevent this triad and injuries related to it.  Stress fractures in the foot and ankle can range from minor to severe and can keep an athlete from their sport for several months at a time.

As a podiatrist, our focus is the foot and ankle, however we know how important it is to consider the whole patient and how their health and wellness affects their feet.  Female athletes train hard and have special factors that must be taken into consideration when foot pain is preventing them from rising to the top of their game.

If you are a female, an athlete, or anyone with foot pain, please call our office so we can evaluate you and get you back to the sport or activities you love!

Call for an appointment today, 817-656-0303, or visit our website www.toetalfootandanklecare.com.