Lately, I have been experiencing awful ankle pains and swelling. I couldn’t figure out what was causing my pain and then I found out my ankle woes were down to the excessive wear of my beloved high heels. I now must wear flats regularly to try and ease the pain and stop the swelling. Now for some that may not seem such a big deal but considering I own more high heels than Carrie Bradshaw, the mere thought of wearing flats has me gasping in horror. I don’t even own a pair of office-worthy flats and I highly doubt my Adidas Classics will compliment my very pretty, Pinterest worthy wrap dress.
So, what is the deal with high heels? For hundreds of years, women have been wearing high heels for aesthetic reasons. They want to appear taller or have longer, thinner looking legs. Although high heels are a symbol of femininity, like all good things in life they can cause health problems if they are worn too frequently.
The motion of your ankle joint is limited when heels are worn (hence my awful ankle pain). The Achilles Tendon is the main tendon in the ankle, so wearing heels frequently, or daily if you are anything like me, can cause the tendon to shorten and stiffen. I am weeping whilst I write this, dam my short, stiff tendons affecting my shoe fetish. Not only can your ankles be affected but high heels can put pressure on the ball of the foot and can cause problems such as hammertoe, plantar fasciitis (in English, the flat band of tissue that connects your heel bones to your toes) and the dreaded bunions.
So, what can you do to rectify these problems or protect your feet? Well, the obvious would be maybe don’t wear high heels every day (sigh!). The next would be to book an appointment and have an assessment with a podiatrist if you are experiencing any of the problems I have listed and get the proper treatment that is required.
Bunions can be extremely painful and not very pretty to look at (google Victoria Beckham’s Bunions!). A podiatrist may suggest over the counter relief to ease inflammation or even a heat pad to relieve the immediate pain. If your bunions are not persistently painful then your podiatrist may advise an orthotic device that can improve and realign the bones in your foot i.e. bunion pads or shoe inserts.
If your symptoms are severe surgery may be needed. The first step is to see a Podiatrist and they will advise the best treatment for you. As for me, well I need to invest in a pair of sensible shoes (shudder), I am also booked in to see our Podiatrist so she can advise me and help with the swelling and pain. Hopefully, I will be back clip-clopping down the street in my favorite slingbacks in no time. I will keep you posted!