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Do High Heels Cause Bunions?

Tuesday, 20 June 2023 00:00

Wearing high heels can enhance the look of your legs and ankles, but may not be helping the health of your feet. However, though experts agree that while most bunions form because of a genetic disposition to this deformity, wearing high heels can make the problem worse if you are already susceptible. Also, it is thought that having a bunion is more of a matter of your gait, or how you walk, than the type of shoes you wear. But because wearing high heels forces the weight of the body toward the ball of the foot, they may add to the likelihood of a bunion formation. A bunion is a deformity that pushes the bone outward at the base of the big toe joint causing a lump to develop on the side of the foot. The other toes react by moving in the opposite direction. High heels, which often have a small and pointed toe box, essentially encourage this movement. If you often wear high heels and notice a bunion forming, it is suggested that you make an appointment with a podiatrist who can offer treatment options.

High heels have a history of causing foot and ankle problems. If you have any concerns about your feet or ankles, contact the podiatrists from Dr. Siegerman & Associates. 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 Drexel Hill and West Chester, PA . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Why High Heels Are Not Ideal for Healthy Feet
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