Throughout the years, much has been made of the connection between women’s shoes and various foot conditions, especially bunions. Whether or not footwear can actually cause a bunion or other toe deformity is a matter of debate, but it is rather conclusive that certain shoes can affect, or even exacerbate, existing conditions.
Some of these foot conditions affected by footwear choices include:
- Bunions. This particular deformity begins with an imbalance in the joint at the base of the big toe. It was once considered a fact that women’s shoes were responsible for creating the condition, but this may not be true. Bunions usually have an inherited, genetic component, but the excessive pressure on the front of the foot from pumps and other high-heeled shoes can make them worse.
- Hammertoes. Along with the related claw and mallet toes, this condition develops due to a muscular imbalance between the muscles and tendons on the tops and bottoms of toes. The condition rarely starts with footwear choices, but high heels can lead to a progression of these toe deformities.
- Plantar fasciitis and Achilles tendinitis. Flat, non-supportive shoes place the heel in such a position that the connective tissues anchored to it—the plantar fascia and Achilles tendon—are stretched tighter and for longer times than they should be. This excessive strain can lead to tears in the tissue, inflammation, and pain.
So how can you fight back against the effects of stylish footwear on your feet? Well, a good starting point is with regular stretching. Many common foot and ankle problems develop in response to a tight Achilles tendon. You can help relieve strain on the tendon by performing stretches to keep your calf muscles limber. Another is to keep the old adage “everything in moderation” in mind. If you reserve your stylish stilettos or pumps only for special occasions, they are not likely going to affect the health of your feet too much.
If you are experiencing any of these conditions—or any other medical issue affecting the health of your feet and ankles—come to Richardson Podiatry Associates. It is important to understand that many health problems are more easily and successfully treated at early stages. In some cases, failing to address them early can lead to a permanent, painful situation. Don’t let this happen to you. Instead, call us at (972) 690-5374 or use our online form to schedule an appointment with our Richardson, TX podiatrist office today.