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High Heels and the Achilles Tendon

Monday, 26 November 2018 00:00

Many women enjoy wearing high heels despite having the knowledge that the feet may be negatively affected. Research has shown the Achilles tendon may become shorter and stiffness may occur as a possible result of frequently wearing high heels. Additionally, balance and posture may become affected as the center of gravity changes, and the muscles surrounding the ankle may be compromised. There may be solutions that can be implemented to protect the feet from wearing high heels, and these may include choosing to wear shoes that have a lower heel, reducing the amount of days and time spent wearing high heels, or wearing soft insoles, which may provide adequate cushioning for the feet. If you would like additional information about the effects high heels can have on your feet, please speak with a podiatrist who will be able to suggest proper foot strengthening exercises.

High heels have a history of causing foot and ankle problems. If you have any concerns about your feet or ankles, contact one of our podiatrists from Carolina Foot & Ankle. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Effects of High Heels on the Feet

High heels are popular shoes among women because of their many styles and societal appeal.  Despite this, high heels can still cause many health problems if worn too frequently.

Which parts of my body will be affected by high heels?

  • Ankle Joints
  • Achilles Tendon – May shorten and stiffen with prolonged wear
  • Balls of the Feet
  • Knees – Heels cause the knees to bend constantly, creating stress on them
  • Back – They decrease the spine’s ability to absorb shock, which may lead to back pain.  The vertebrae of the lower back may compress.

What kinds of foot problems can develop from wearing high heels?

  • Corns
  • Calluses
  • Hammertoe
  • Bunions
  • Morton’s Neuroma
  • Plantar Fasciitis

How can I still wear high heels and maintain foot health?

If you want to wear high heeled shoes, make sure that you are not wearing them every day, as this will help prevent long term physical problems.  Try wearing thicker heels as opposed to stilettos to distribute weight more evenly across the feet.  Always make sure you are wearing the proper shoes for the right occasion, such as sneakers for exercising.  If you walk to work, try carrying your heels with you and changing into them once you arrive at work.  Adding inserts to your heels can help cushion your feet and absorb shock. Full foot inserts or metatarsal pads are available. 

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our offices located in Huntersville, Mooresville, and Mountain Island, NC. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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