Even though it’s becoming less likely that your employer can require you to wear certain things to work, like high heels, it’s thought that about 30% of working women still choose to wear high heels on a daily basis.
But the podiatrists at Montgomery Foot Care Specialists, Dr. Chanda L. Day-Houts and Dr. Heidi M. Christie, have some advice for these women: making the switch from high heels to flats is one of the best things you can do for your feet. Our feet don’t naturally want to hold us up with their heels pointing to the sky and their balls taking the brunt of our weight. When you subject your feet to this unnatural position, all kinds of things can go wrong:
- Pain in the… You may not realize how much high heels affect the way you walk. Your chest juts forward; your hips and back fall out of alignment; your calf muscles tense up; there’s added pressure on your ankles and knees. The more you stick with heels, the more these body parts are struck with pain.
- Taking a tumble. Positioning your body in such an unnatural state causes overall instability and increases your risk of injury from falling.
- Aching joints. Extensive wearing of high heels can contribute to osteoarthritis.
- Tension in the tendon. Heels shorten and tighten the Achilles tendon, causing your foot to lose its flexibility.
- The nerve! Cramped toes can cause Morton’s neuroma – damage to the nerves in your toes.
- Unwanted outgrowths. A genetic predisposition to getting bunions is worsened by high heels. A bump at the back of the heel – Haglund’s deformity – is so common among heel-wearers that its nickname is “pump bump.”
- Unwanted ingrowths. Painful ingrown toenails are caused or made worse by narrow toe boxes.
So, there are many reasons to ditch the heels, at least part of the time, in favor of flat-styled shoes. Supportive flats will give your Achilles tendon and calf muscles a chance to gradually stretch out and your hips, knees, and back to fall back into proper alignment.
Whenever you have pain in your feet, whether you think it’s caused by shoes or something else, count on our experienced foot doctors to get to the bottom of it with expert diagnoses and treatments. Call our office in the tri-county area in Montgomery, AL at (334) 396-3668 or contact us online.