The High Cost of Wearing High Heels
High heels are often a Podiatrist’s worst nightmare. Sure the “glass slipper” may fit, but the question to ask is what effects can heels have on my feet? Wearing a high heel can be associated with over a handful of deformities and conditions.
Neuroma: Everyone’s anatomy consists of a nerve bulb in our inner spaces that sends a little nerve to adjacent sides of each toe. These nerve bulbs can become compressed, enlarge and essentially scar down forming what is called a neuroma. This can be very painful and is often relieved when shoes are taken off.
Capsulitis: High heels cause the front of the foot to bear most of our weight. Excess weight and pressure on the forefoot can result in capsulitis, an inflammation of the soft tissue around the joints. People will relate that it feels like stepping on a rock or a wadded up sock.
Ingrown Toenails: High heels cause the foot to gravitate towards the front of the shoe, which is often much narrower. This results in squishing the toes together and increased pressure on the nail beds with the consequences of painful ingrown toenails.
Pump Bump: A haglunds deformity is often referred to as a pump bump due to its origin from wearing heels. The bump is a bony growth to the back of the heel that can be very irritating with the rubbing of shoe gear over the soft tissues covering the bone.
Stress Fractures and fractures: With all of the increased pressure placed on the front of the foot, wearing heels repetitively can set you up for a stress fracture. Heels also cause instability of the ankle allowing for sprains and at its worst, fractures.
Aside from the aforementioned complications of wearing high heels, there are numerous other problems not discussed that heels can cause your feet, not to mention your knees and spine. So, if the slipper fits, tell Prince Charming you’d rather wear a tennis shoe.