If you have bunions on your small and big toes, you may want to change your style of footwear, especially if you love to wear high-heeled shoes like stilettos, pumps and platforms. Although they may create the perfect look for your fashionable outfits, high heels can also create a host of foot problems, including painful bunions. Here's the connection between high-heeled shoes and bunions — and what you can do to improve the quality and health of your toes.
Make the Connection
According to a new study compiled by the American Podiatric Medical Association, almost 50 percent of American women wear high-heeled shoes. An astounding 71 percent of these women continue to wear their heels, even after they complain of foot pain and other symptoms.
Other sources report that women who wear narrow-toed, high-heeled shoes force their toes together as they walk. This unnatural position of the toes can create bunions, which develop when the toe joints move out of placement.
Your podiatrist may recommend that you put aside your high heels for more foot-friendly shoes to protect your toes from bunions. If you don't change your footwear, you may change your gait or way of walking instead.
High heels shorten the muscles in your calves instead of elongate them. The action places pressure on the bones in the balls of your feet and toes. As you walk, your legs and hips need to stay balanced, or you may topple over in your efforts to stay upright.
In addition, the bones of your large and small toes gradually move outward from the pressure placed on them by your high heels. These toe joints develop extra tissue on them as they attempt to compensate for the movement. The bunions also trigger the symptoms below:
You can stop the symptoms above by seeing your podiatrist for treatment and by changing your footwear.
Change Your Footwear and Get Podiatric Treatment
Wearing flat footwear that features a thick sole and wide toe box may not be as fashionable as your high heels, but the footwear can help reduce the pain caused by your bunions. If you insist on wearing more fashionable shoes, choose shoes with 1-inch heels. Anything over 2 inches can make your bunions worse, as well as cause muscle strain and pain in your lower body.
Your podiatrist can also treat your bunions with surgery, or he or she may prescribe foot orthotics to ease your pain. Your doctor will tell you more during your appointment.
Although high-heeled shoes can improve your style and appearance, they can permanently damage your toes and feet. See your podiatrist like Aboite Podiatry Associates PC for more information about bunions and your footwear.
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