Can High Heels Damage My Feet?

Monday, 09 April 2018 00:00

Many women choose to wear high heels to increase confidence, height, and the muscle tone of the leg. These perceived benefits may not outweigh the damage the feet may incur as a result of wearing this type of shoe. The arch of the foot is typically affected, which may lead to pain and discomfort. When the heel of the foot is raised, the ligaments of the arch become weak, and may result in the development of a condition referred to as fallen arches or flat feet. There is generally not enough room for the toes to move about freely, and this may result in a conditions such as hammertoe. The feet absorb the body’s mass, and the weight becomes redistributed, which affects the ball of the foot when high heels are worn. If high heels are frequently worn, the Achilles tendon may become shorter, causing severe pain. Recent research has suggested that wearing shoes with a shorter heel can prevent many foot injuries from occurring.

High heels have a history of causing foot and ankle problems. If you have any concerns about your feet or ankles, contact Dr. Marc Keys from Marc. S. Keys, DPM. 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 one of our offices located in Jackson and Adrian, MI. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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