Can Menopause Cause Foot Problems?

menopause and foot problems

Estrogen and progesterone production decline as women approach menopause. Low estrogen levels can cause many problems, including brittle joints and less supple ligaments. Estrogen is required in the production of collagen, so a drop in its levels impacts collagen roles. At Horizon Foot & Ankle Institute, we treat various foot problems, including menopausal foot issues. Our foot doctor can help you address foot and ankle issues that come as a result of menopause.

How Does Menopause Cause Foot Problems?

Menopause can result in many symptoms, including foot issues that stem from low collagen production. Collagen is the primary building block for skin, bones, muscles, and tendons. When collagen levels drop, the skin and tendons become less elastic, and blood vessels constrict. Low collagen production increases the risk of soft tissue injury and joint pain.

Menopause can cause changes in cartilage, which become more brittle and sensitive. Low collagen also results in loss of ligament suppleness and can lead to bone deformities, such as bunions, hammertoes, and hallux valgus. Estrogen and progesterone deficiency also lead to a dry epidermis (dry feet), which can result in painful fissures.

Progesterone deficiency can inhibit the body’s ability to absorb moisture and cause water retention. Water retention can cause swelling in the lower limbs (feet and ankles). Other menopause symptoms with potential foot problems include loss of muscle and bone density and weight gain. You can view our services to see more foot issues and treatments.

What Foot Problems Can Menopause Cause?

At Horizon Foot & Ankle Institute, we treat various foot conditions caused or aggravated by menopause. Popular foot issues include dry, calloused skin, pain in the balls of your feet, bunions, arch pain, and hallux rigidus. Reduced tissue elasticity can also lead to plantar fasciitis and inflammation.

Here’s an overview of three common foot problems associated with menopause:

1.     Dry, Calloused Skin

Low estrogen and collagen can decrease your skin’s capacity to absorb moisture, leading to dry, calloused skin. The problem stems from dry skin, which can thicken the skin around the heels. Dry skin can crack, bleed, and cause pain. The issue is also compounded by decreased elasticity, which leaves skin tissues vulnerable to cracking.

2.     Bunions

A bunion is a bony growth/bump that occurs when prolonged pressure on the feet pushes the big toe toward the second toe. The base of the big toe sticks out, and excess bone can grow at the joint where the toe bone meets the foot. Menopause can lead to muscle loss, weight gain, low bone density, and poor elasticity, all of which increase the risk of developing bunions.

3.     Hallux Rigidus

Arthritis of the big toe joint (hallux rigidus) is another foot problem that menopausal women may face. Symptoms include pain at the base of the big toe bone, where the toe joins the foot. Hallux rigidus is caused by loss of flexibility in the joint and inflammation. Reduced collagen and elasticity cause the bones, ligaments, and tissues to become rigid and brittle.

Speak To an Experienced Foot Doctor Today

Working with a foot doctor is the best way to treat foot problems that stem from menopause and other causes. At Horizon Foot & Ankle Institute, we offer expertise in treating foot, ankle, and lower leg issues. Our doctors can treat bunions, ingrown nails, hammertoes, heel pain, skin conditions, arthritis, major deformities, diabetic foot care, and more.