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Wearing High Heels May Cause Damage to the Feet

Tuesday, 22 November 2022 00:00

Research has indicated that wearing high heels is one of the most common reasons that women develop foot pain. Many women choose to wear high heels, despite knowing unwanted foot conditions may arise and could cause the need for lower heels. A bunion is a bony growth that forms on the side of the big toe which can result from wearing shoes that do not have adequate room for the toes to move freely. High heels often fall into this category and bunions may be prevented by wearing shoes that have more room. Additionally, the calf may become painful which may be a gradual Achilles tendon injury developing. This tendon may become shortened when high heels are frequently worn and relief may be found when the calf muscles are stretched. High heels may cause permanent damage to the feet so it is suggested that you consult with a podiatrist if you would like more information about tips on how to possibly avoid this.

High heels have a history of causing foot and ankle problems. If you have any concerns about your feet or ankles, contact one of our podiatrists from Integrative Foot & Ankle Centers of Washington. Our doctors 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 one of our offices located in Kirkland, Everett, and Renton, WA . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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