Diabetic Foot Care Advice

The aim of this blog is to help members of the public to understand their feet better. However the information on this blog should never be regarded as medical advice. Readers with foot problems are strongly encouraged to visit their GP if not the podiatrist for further medical assessment and treatment.

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Sunday, December 23, 2007

The Dangers Of High Heels

Wearing high-heeled shoes too often can compromise the health of your feet. Almost all high heels have narrow toe boxes. A toe box is the front portion of the shoe. Couple the narrow toe box with the added pressure caused by the elevation of the heel and it sets the conditions that can cause a number of foot problems.

Forcing the toes into a narrow toe box can cause misalignment of the toes. High heels can lead to the development of hammertoes. Hammertoes are an unnatural bending of the toe joints. After repeated pressure from unhealthy footware, such as high heels, the joints of the toes can become deformed by remaining rigidly bent. The bending of the first joint of a hammertoe can cause the toe to rub against the shoe. This can be painful and can cause corns.

Corns are small calluses that are caused by pressure and friction. If the toes rub against the shoe, as is common with high heels, the skin on the toe becomes hard and thick in the area that is experiencing the pressure. Wearing high heels can worsen bunions or bunionettes. A bunion is a bony bump along the side of the big toe that can be made worse by wearing tight-fitting shoes. A bunionette is a small bunion that forms on the smallest toe.

Toenails are often under pressure during the time that high heels are worn. This pressure can cause nail problems such as nail fungus and ingrown toenails. Wearing high heels frequently can interfere with the natural state of the Achilles tendon. High heels prevent the heel of the foot from coming in contact with the ground. Therefore, the Achilles tendon is not stretched while walking. The Achilles tendon can become tightened and shortened.

Excessive use of high heels can cause stress fractures in the foot. Stress fractures are tiny cracks in the bone caused by pressure and strain on the bone. Metatarsalgia is a condition of pain in the foot. High heels cause extreme pressure on the ball of the foot. This pressure can lead to strain and pain in the ball of the foot.

Haglund’s deformity, also called “pump bump,” is a small, bony irritation that occurs on the back of the foot due to pressure from straps and the rigid backs of high heels. This causes redness, irritation, and pain in the area of the pump bump. Neuromas can also be called by wearing tight-fitting shoes. Neuromas are growths of the nerves of the foot. Neuromas cause sharp pain or numbness in the ball of the foot and the toes.


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