Ask a podiatrist: Is it ok for me to wear high heels? Answer: They are ok in moderation, about 2-4 hours at a time. HOWEVER, you can develop specific problems only from wearing high heels. Bunions, yes, bunions. Achilles shortening, pump bump pain or haglund’s deformity, plantar fasciitis, neuromas, and ankle sprains are some of the problems that can occur, just to name, well, several, unfortunately! Some of these sound familiar while others do not. Let’s dive deeper.
What is Haglunds Deformity? This can be found as a bony enlargement on the back of the heel. When you wear rigid or hard shoes, the soft tissue covering this bony enlargement can get very irritated and inflamed. Wearing high heels increases your risk for developing this deformity. Another bony bump that can form on your foot is called a bunion. This bump develops on the base of your big toe and out to the side. When some of the bones located around your toes move out of place, this causes the the big toe to move closer to the others and in turn pushes out the base of the big toe laterally. The shape of many high heels, especially pointy ones, cause you to be at a higher risk for developing this problem. In some cases, surgery is necessary.
If you develop a neuroma, you’ll know right away. This is a very painful growth of nerve cells, also described as a “pinched nerve.” A variety of treatment options are available for neuromas, from activity modification to anti-inflammatory medications to minor surgery. Call our office if you suspect a neuroma so you can discuss the treatment that will work best for you.
All in all, high heels are ok in moderation. If you wear them and always have a spot that bothers you, take a break from them for a while. Try different brands that have more support and room for your toes. Always reach out to us with any concerns.
At Howard County Foot and Ankle, we know that each foot is different and unique. Dr. Bui will decide what treatment is best for you after your first evaluation. Call today!