High heels may look great, but wearing them can actually disfigure your feet.

Many women are willing to take on the discomfort that fashion trends bring with them. However, the pain associated with cramming your toes into high heels isn’t temporary. Over time, the unnatural shape of high heels can distort the structure of the feet and lead to uncomfortable bunions. The podiatry staff at the offices of Drs. Gary Evans, James Korponay and Caren Schumer have provided some comprehensive information about the damage high heels can inflict on the feet and toes.

What are bunions?

When constant pressure, like that from the narrow shape of a high heel, is put on the outside of the big toes, you are putting yourself at a higher risk for developing bunions. Although they look like lumps under the skin, bunions aren’t actually new growths on the foot; they are the result of misshapen bones within the toes and feet. As bunions progress, they can cause pain, swelling, and decreased range of motion.

Why are high heels so bad?

The cause of bunions isn’t exactly clear: some experts believe they are a genetic abnormality, and others theorize that they are the result of ill-fitting footwear. Regardless of the cause, it is generally accepted that wearing cheap or narrowly-fitting shoes can cause bunions to worsen. Because high heels distort the feet into an unnatural position – the toes can be forced to carry the same amount of weight as a ballet dancer’s – it only makes sense why women who wear them regularly are seeking out treatment from their New York City podiatrist. Heels can also the culprit for other foot problems such as hammertoes and Achilles tendinitis. Lower back pain can be a side effect as well.

What should I do to prevent bunions?

First things first: walk away from high heels! If you’re not comfortable ridding your closet of them, your New York City podiatrist suggests wearing them infrequently and alternating them with flats as much as possible. You can make the case for splurging because high-quality shoes are generally better than those found at a discount store. Having them fitted by a professional can make sure you’re wearing the proper size and width. You can also used padded inserts or arch supports to relieve some of the pressure. Stretching exercises done at home can be beneficial, but you should first learn the proper techniques from your New York City podiatrist.

If bunions persist or are particularly disfiguring, your New York City podiatrist may recommend surgery to reshape the foot by eliminating some of the damaged bone and tissue in the affected area.

Your feet don’t have to become fashion victims. Complete Foot and Ankle Care can help you walk with confidence, so contact them today!