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How Do High Heels Affect the Feet?

Monday, 18 March 2019 00:00

Many women who enjoy wearing high heels may be unaware of the possible harm these types of shoes may do to the feet. When high heels are worn, the weight of the body may get shifted to the joint under the big toe. This may result in the formation of a bunion, which is characterized by a bony protrusion on the side of the big toe. Corns and calluses may form on the bottom of the foot and may result in metatarsalgia. This type of pain is typically felt in the ball of the foot. If you have pain in your heel and surrounding areas, it may lead to a condition that is referred to as plantar fasciitis. It may be similar to the pain and discomfort that is experienced with heel spurs, and both conditions may develop as a result of frequently wearing high heels. If you have any of these symptoms, please consult with a podiatrist who can guide you toward proper treatment.

High heels have a history of causing foot and ankle problems. If you have any concerns about your feet or ankles, contact Don A. Shumway, DPM from Arizona. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Effects of High Heels on the Feet

High heels are popular shoes among women because of their many styles and societal appeal.  Despite this, high heels can still cause many health problems if worn too frequently.

Which Parts of My Body Will Be Affected by High Heels?

  • Ankle Joints
  • Achilles Tendon – May shorten and stiffen with prolonged wear
  • Balls of the Feet
  • Knees – Heels cause the knees to bend constantly, creating stress on them
  • Back – They decrease the spine’s ability to absorb shock, which may lead to back pain.  The vertebrae of the lower back may compress.

What Kinds of Foot Problems Can Develop from Wearing High Heels?

  • Corns
  • Calluses
  • Hammertoe
  • Bunions
  • Morton’s Neuroma
  • Plantar Fasciitis

How Can I Still Wear High Heels and Maintain Foot Health?

If you want to wear high heeled shoes, make sure that you are not wearing them every day, as this will help prevent long term physical problems.  Try wearing thicker heels as opposed to stilettos to distribute weight more evenly across the feet.  Always make sure you are wearing the proper shoes for the right occasion, such as sneakers for exercising.  If you walk to work, try carrying your heels with you and changing into them once you arrive at work.  Adding inserts to your heels can help cushion your feet and absorb shock. Full foot inserts or metatarsal pads are available. 

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our office located in Snowflake, AZ. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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