High Heels, The Good, The Bad, The Ugly

She’s got legs! She knows how to use them!

The Bad:
Throughout history women have gone to great extremes with their shoe gear to achieve the desired look. The high heel is by far my favorite. Appealing perhaps, because it gives an impression of being taller and thus more slender and shapely. Other than turning heads and causing the occasional traffic accident, or leading to marital problems, here is why the high heel is pure evil.

1. Neuromas
To give the slender appearance, they have a snug fit. Most women we see in the office want their feet to look dainty and petite. This is why they don’t wear big chunky army boots. High heels have a tight toe box, causing the foot bones to squeeze together on nerves-causing neuromas.

2. Metatarsalgia
Having an elevated heel causes excess pressure on the ball of the foot. The body weight is no longer dispersed across a spring-like, shock absorbing arch. It is transferred directly onto the bones of the foot, resulting in ball, arch and general foot pain and fatigue.

3. Ankle Sprains
The ankle joint is at its most unstable when the foot is plantar flexed (toes down) and inverted (soles inward). In high heels the foot is held in this position. This, and the fact that the pointed heel is unstable, leaves the ankle prone to inversion sprains (see ankle sprain blog). This is commonly seen at high school proms when young girls try wearing heels for the first time and commonly roll off the side of the heel, twisting their ankle.

4. Bunions
The ugly painful bump at the base of the big toe. Yes bunions are made worse by wearing a pointed toe high heel and one of the leading causes of bunion correction. The foot is not shaped like a point so keep this in mind when buying new heels.

The Good:
I am a man, and as a man I reserve the right to defend high heels. Like Dorothy’s ruby red slippers they contain magical powers. They cause spontaneous head turning, drooling and memory loss in males. Even if red as hell’s fire and forged by the devil, they aren’t PURELY evil. Here are three things they can HELP with:

1.Achilles Tendonitis
As stated above, high heels keep the foot in plantar flexion. This relaxes the Achilles’ tendon. In males with Achilles tendonitis, shoes with heels are recommended, but don’t take that as doctors orders to wear drag. A simple 1inch heel can help relax the tendon.

2.Plantar Fasciitis
The plantar fascia is directly related to the Achilles’ tendon. A tight Achilles’ tendon causes plantar fasciitis. The plantar fascia also acts as a spring for the foot. With each step the arch collapses and reforms. By using high heels the force is loaded directly on the ball and transferred across bones-bypassing the shock absorbing planter fascia.

3. Marital problems (www.drphil.com)
Nothing more to say here.

So, when actress Sofia Vergara on ABC’s Modern Family, pranced around in high heels and then twisted her ankle, she was criticized for trying to do a mother’s chores in stilettos. I felt prompted to run to the aid of one of the best inventions ever: the high heel.

For more information on high heels and foot problems please contact Dr. Jeffrey N. Bowman of Houston Foot Specialists by calling (713) 467-8886 or visit us online for more information and online appointments at www.houstonfootspecialists.com.

2013 Jeff Bowman., All Rights Reserved

Category: Foot Health

Tags: Achilles Tendonitis, Ankle Sprains, Bunions, High Heels, Metatarsalgia, Neuromas, Plantar Fasciitis