Just Say No to Bunions and Blisters from High Heels
What causes bunions and how can you avoid them?
That’s the age old question that we seem to ask ourselves, but only when it’s too late. Too late, as in, when we are looking down at our poor feet after a long day in the office, contemplating why we selected those stylish heels that were actually so very impractical…
Bunions are 10 times more common in women than in men, according to Harvard Health.
A bunion, a bony bump that forms at the joint base of your big toe, occurs when the bones in the front area of your foot move out of place. It can be caused by wearing tight and narrow shoes (like heels); however, they can also develop because of the shape of your foot, such as a foot deformity or a medical condition. If you are predisposed to bunions, you could wear excellent shoes and still suffer from repercussions. With that said, high heels, especially those that are tight at the toes, will not help.
How do stylish high heels exasperate the bunion problem?
Bunions are 10 times more common in women than in men, according to Harvard Health. It’s no wonder why high heels are a culprit.
High heels can exacerbate the problem because these shoes tip your body forward, placing weight on the toes in the front of the shoe versus even weight distribution like flat shoes or wedges. Those who work in occupations that involve standing and walking, such as teaching or working in an office, are susceptible to bunions.
With women experiencing this pain 10x more than men, why do we need to be concerned?
While you may be able to relieve some pain through conservative measures, such as over-the-counter non medicated bunion pads or cushions, it may not always fix the problem in a long-term way. The metatarsophalangeal (MTP) joint, the joint at the base of the big toe, helps us distribute weight during a range of activities, such as moving from a business meeting to a dinner out. A bunion at the MTP joint can impact the foot’s overall function. Secondary effects could be that your nails become ingrown and calluses form, which will make normal, everyday activities difficult.
So, how can you manage and avoid a bunion?
While bunions can be corrected through surgery or the aforementioned conservative treatment, you will ultimately want to make fashion easier on your feet.
Consider these suggestions:
• Stylish wedges vs. heels to compliment your outfit
• Alternate wedge and heel heights on different days, so you can vary the overall pressure that is placed on your joints
• Be careful when you are wearing heels on an uneven surface. If you are favoring one leg or foot over the other, this can cause injuries that extend far beyond bunions
• Select a shoe that is not tight in the toe. This is one of the primary causes of bunions, so be sure to choose a shoe that is appropriate for your foot size
Wedges vs. Heels - making the smart decision for your body
While you may be salivating at those heels that are on-sale at your favorite boutique, think twice before making that purchase. There are incredible wedges on the market, ones that provide a truly comfortable heel without the constant need to take them off when they become uncomfortable.
Bunions can be extremely uncomfortable, with some more severe than others. Some bunions can only be fixed with surgical procedures, such as removing the swollen tissue around your toe joint, straightening your big toe, or realigning one of more bones in the forefoot to a more normal position - all of which take time for a full recovery.
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This provides general information. For detailed and personal advice, you should see a qualified medical practitioner