Posts for tag: high heels
Have you ever taken off your shoe, thinking there was a pebble inside, only to find nothing? You may be experiencing the effects of a neuroma. Morton’s neuroma is the term for a thickening of the tissue around the nerve between the third and fourth toes. It can be painful and lead to permanent damage if left untreated.
Symptoms of a Morton’s neuroma include sharp, burning pain in the ball of the foot and a stinging or numb feeling in the toes. Symptoms show up only occasionally at first but will increase in intensity and become more persistent as the condition worsens. Over time, the tissue will thicken to the point where you may lose feeling in those toes.
As with many foot ailments, the causes are easily brought on by improper footwear. High heels that squeeze the toes together can lead to Morton’s neuroma. Some sports featuring tight footwear such as rock climbing, ballet, and skiing have been linked to neuroma development.
READ MORE: Shoes for the Activities We Love
Neuromas are also more likely to occur in those with high arches, flat feet, bunions, hammertoes, or other foot deformities. Your podiatrist will likely take x-rays to rule out other causes of pain (such as stress fractures) or perform an ultrasound to see what’s happening in your soft tissues.
If caught early, many patients can stop their pain and reverse the effects of a neuroma. Step one is to get the proper footwear. Choose shoes with a wide toe-box. If you must wear heels, try a wedge or a lower heel height. Make sure you relieve any pressure on your toes occasionally if you wear tight shoes throughout the day. Padding your shoes and adding arch supports can help along with over-the-counter pain relievers and corticosteroid injections. If the condition has been allowed to progress too far, surgery to loosen the tendon holding the toes or a complete removal of the affected nerve may be necessary, though this only occurs in approximately 20% of cases.
Morton’s neuroma is a common foot ailment that is easy to avoid and treat with a little bit of attention and the right shoes. If you feel as if you are constantly walking on a fold in your sock or a stone in your shoe, call your podiatrist to make an appointment today. Those pains aren’t just in your head; they’re in your foot! And we can help you with that.
We always think of spring as the time of new birth, but in fact August holds the prize as the month with the highest birth rate for women in the US. Since 7/10 pregnant women report foot and ankle problems, it’s a good idea to take a look at why. Ruling out all the obvious problems stemming from the massive changes going on inside your body, one culprit that we can avoid are high heels. There are a lot of myths concerning the health risk of high heels during pregnancy, but the truth is they’re not going to magically harm you, but there are risks to wearing high heels (or really any non-supportive shoe) while pregnant. There three main reasons for this:
- Change to the center of gravity - Women gain weight during pregnancy, this is a fact that is often over-dramatized, but even if you keep a healthy diet and exercise, the life form inside you has volume and weight so you will inevitably being getting larger and heavier. This completely changes your center of gravity, pulling you forward and resulting in extra pressure on the knees and feet. High heels will also shift a woman’s center of gravity forward, compounding the problem. If you insist on high heels, choose something very low that offers support. Your feet will thank you.
- Muscles - Lot’s of fun things happen to your leg muscles when you’re pregnant. Cramps are a common symptom of muscle fatigue due to increased body weight. Hormones released during pregnancy will loosen the muscles and ligaments in the foot, so when we use our foot muscles too much with no support (like when we wear high heels), permanent changes to the foot can occur. Wear tennis shoes with Velcro or slip on shoes with arch support. If you must wear heels, do so for short periods of time and raise your feet afterwards to reduce swelling.
- Tripping - Remember that center of gravity thing we just talked about? Not only does that tilt women forward adding pressure to their feet with every step, it also makes them unstable, which can lead to a nasty fall. Technically, this can happen to anyone wearing high heels at any time, but if you’re pregnant a fall could mean serious complications for both mother and baby. It’s best to just go with a flat and supportive shoe that keeps you firmly planted on the ground.
While high heels are not the enemy, they should be avoided as much as possible during pregnancy to protect the health of everyone involved. Your muscles need support so that your feet can keep up with your kid for years to come.
The holiday season is upon us and that means an endless parade of office parties, family dinners, and other occasions that require us to dress in our best. For many ladies, this means breaking out the heels. But even with sensible kitten heels, some ladies will have their feet screaming before they pass around the eggnog. Ever wondered why some ladies are comfortable in flats while others can dance all night in sky-high shoes? It all has to do with the talus bone.
The talus bone, commonly referred to as the anklebone, connects the bones of the lower leg to the bones of the tarsus (a group of bones just below the ankle joint). Remember, the foot has the highest concentration of bones in the body (52 bones; 25% of our body), so the talus has an important job.
A clever podiatrist named Emma Supple, decided she wanted to find out how to scientifically measure the flexibility of the talus bone, therefore determining each woman’s personal Perfect Heel Height (PHH). The formula is simple; all you need is a chair, a pencil, a ruler/tape measure, and a friend (willing or unwilling).
Step 1) Sit in the chair and stick one leg out parallel to the floor, then relax your foot so it falls into a natural position (like the baby blue heels to the left)
Step 2) Have your friend stretch the tape measure from the base of your heel out towards your toes, keeping it parallel to the floor
Step 3) Use the pencil to form a right angle between the tape measure and the ball of your foot. Whatever the pencil points to on the measuring tape is your PPH.
For a woman with a very flexible talus bone, the measurement can be three or four inches. If your foot naturally falls closer to a 90-degree angle to your shin, a lower shoe is necessary to ensure comfort. An overextended talus bone will send you into agony, but so will a squashed one. “According to the College of Podiatry, sore feet cause the average woman 23 days of pain every year. That’s an hour-and-a-half a day.” (https://goo.gl/ijAs72) Needless to say, that much pain can cause major foot problems!
There does seem to be a maximum heel height for everyday wear though. Even if you measure as a four or five inch heel, keep it to three or lower for everyday wear. In addition to height, pay attention to heel positioning. The center of the shoe heel should be directly under the center of the heel of your foot, thus acting as a direct extension of your leg. Heels placed too far back can cause imbalance and potentially snap off under pressure.
Make sure your feet are singing carols this holiday season, not screaming in protest. Take the time to calculate your PPH and I bet you will find that your favorite pair of shoes fall right on that mark.
Ladies, many of us love to wear heels, and why not? Heels can be empowering and make us feel sexy and Amazonian (especially if you’re on the shorter side). But do we really know what those heels are doing to our feet? Among the myriad of problems associated with high heels, let’s look at Haglund’s Deformity also known as “Pump Bump”.
In some ways this is a misnomer, since Haglund’s Deformity can occur in both men and women and from many types of shoes. The “bump” is true though. Haglund’s Deformity is an enlarged bump on the bone of the heel. When this bump rubs against a hard surface (like the back of a stiff high heel or a structured men’s dress shoe) it irritates the bursa next to your Achilles tendon. An inflamed bursa causes bursitis, which is a painful condition brought on by repeated stress to a single area.
READ MORE: Bursitis
People who have high arches, tight Achilles tendons, or a tendency to walk on the outside of their heel are more predisposed to have Haglund’s Deformity. If you develop this deformity, you will know by the pain, swelling, and redness surrounding a noticeable bump on the back of your heel.
Haglund’s Deformity can be diagnosed with a simple doctor visit and x-ray. Most cases of Haglund’s Deformity are treatable with anti-inflammatory medications, heel pads, heel lifts, ice, stretching exercises, orthotics, or physical therapy. If these methods don’t provide relief, surgical options may be considered.
The best way to protect your feet from Haglund’s Deformity is to avoid wearing shoes with stiff backs that press on your heel. I’m not saying that you can never wear your favorite pumps again, but it may be a good idea to cut down on the amount of time you wear them. Consider wearing flats to and from the office or party or switching it up with a cute backless heel that will avoid putting pressure on the same area. Heels are cute; “Pump Bump” is not. Protect your feet with proper shoes and treatment from the FAAWC.
READ MORE: High Heels and Neuromas
These frigthfully crazy shoes are sure to make a splash at your Halloween bash!