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The Harm in High Heels

Tuesday, 08 September 2020 00:00

High heels are a wardrobe staple for many, however, wearing high heels can have serious consequences for foot health. A study on foot and ankle injuries in the U.S. found that between 2002 and 2012, U.S. emergency rooms treated 123,355 high heel-related injuries. Strains and sprains of the foot and ankle were the most common of these injuries, and about 20% of them involved broken bones. Another study, this time looking at South Korean flight attendants who were required to wear high heels daily for work, found that their balance decreased over time due to a loss of strength in the muscles and tendons that support the front-to-back movement of the foot. If you do wear high heels, it is recommended that you wear them less frequently, and that you give your feet a break by taking the high heels off to stretch your feet and ankles or by switching to running shoes. For more information on the connection between footwear and foot health, speak with a podiatrist today.

High heels have a history of causing foot and ankle problems. If you have any concerns about your feet or ankles, contact Cory Brown, DPM from Brown Foot and Ankle. 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 Abilene, TX. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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