Many patients present to the office with bunions and hammertoes and question if they are due to their shoes.
Yes, shoe gear especially high heels can play a part in foot pain. How you may ask? High heels move your weight load further onto the ball of your foot increasing the pressure and work of tiny muscles and ligaments around your toes and metatarsal joints. The increase in motion and pressure of the forefoot can lead to nerve irritation or a neuroma which is a bulbous nerve causing numbness, tingling and burning into the adjacent toes. The heel height as well as pitch of the shoe also changes your posture, lower back, pelvis and hip position. It can shorten your calf muscles and achilles tendons which can lead to heel pain and increased motion in your mid foot. The lack of control and support of the shoe itself can lead to ankle injuries and even irritation of your heel bone. Some patients present with a “pump bump” which can be very painful. My philosophy is everything in moderation; full days and many miles should never be performed in a very high heel. An orthotic can be made for a dress shoe to help hold your foot in the most optimal position and give you the arch support you need. I always recommend patients bring their shoes in for an evaluation as they play an integral role in treating one’s pedal complaints.
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