Dr. Berg's Foot Facts

Posts for tag: high heels

By Dr. Rion Berg
December 12, 2016
Category: Bunions
Tags: high heels  

You may already be aware that wearing high heels on a regular basis puts you at high risk for some pretty nasty foot changes such as increased bunion formation and neuromas. Now according to a study out of Stanford, wearing heels on a regular basis in combination with increased weight may also accelerate your chances of getting osteoarthritis of the knee, a condition normally seen in older adults.

Apparently the study indicated that wearing heels and increased changes in weight can alter the way you walk and may make a difference in the risk for this painful condition.

Recommendations:

To avoid the possibility of early knee pain from wearing high heels:

  • Avoid wearing heels on a daily basis

  • Keep your heels to a reasonable height (the higher the heel the more weight is placed on the ball of the foot which is a big factor in causing the problems described above.)

  • Try a pair of platform rocker shoes or sandals like those made by Jafa which allows the ball of your foot to roll through your walk. Jafa's can be purchased at the Woolly Mammoth in Seattle.

Call us today at 206-368-7000 for an appointment. Often same day for emergencies and less than 2 weeks for chronic foot pain. You can also request an appointment online.

Get our free foot book "No More Foot Pain", mailed directly to your home.

Seattle foot and ankle specialist, Dr. Rion Berg offers foot care for patients with bunions, heel pain, diabetes, fungal toenails, ingrown nails, and surgical solutions when needed to residents of Seattle, Bellevue, Kirkland, Shoreline, Lake Forest Park, Mountlake Terrace, Lynnwood and other surrounding suburbs.

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Is Victoria Beckham, the queen of fashion, really hanging up her stillettos? Well not quite, although she is getting closer. Plagued with horrific bunions for many years, she has refused to give them up even a little until now. She says they will now be part of her "sometimes" look rather than an "even in my backyard" look. 

Even though she's not giving them up entirely, as a Seattle podiatrist I have to give her credit for finally doing something good for her feet and health.

What happens when you let your bunions go for too many years by either ignoring them or continuing to wear heels?

They get much worse!

If you've been suffering from bunion pain but have yet to do anything about it, here are some questions to ask yourself. Rate yourself on a scale of 1-10 with  1= a minor problem to 10 = a major problem.

-how much pain do my bunions cause?
-do I have trouble finding a pair of shoes I can wear?
-do I have pain under the ball of my foot?
-does the pain impact my quality of life?

If you answered in the lower range between 1-4, solutions that can work well include wearing shoes that are designed to accommodate a bunion and not make it worse, heels no higher than 1 inch, padding to alleviate friction and pain, special exercises to maintain joint mobility, and orthotics to align the feet properly if foot mechanics are problematic.

If you answered in the upper range 5 and over, some of these solutions might still work but bunion surgery is also something to consider.

Stop the agony, come in today and get evaluated by Dr. Rion Berg who has successfully treated bunions for over 30 years.

Call us today at 206-368-7000 for an appointment, often same day. You can also request an appointment online.

Get our free foot book "No More Foot Pain", mailed directly to your home.

Seattle foot and ankle specialist, Dr. Rion Berg offers foot care for patients with bunions, heel pain, diabetes, fungal toenails, ingrown nails, and surgical solutions when needed to residents of Seattle, Bellevue, Kirkland, Shoreline, Lake Forest Park, Mountlake Terrace, Lynnwood and other surrounding suburbs.

Follow Dr. Berg on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+

Now that we're full swing into primary season, I can't help but wonder how the candidate's feet are faring, given the increased hours they've had to spend on them. Since I don't have any insider information, I can only hazard a guess at what might be going on for these folks.

Here are some causes of painful feet and who is most likely to face them.

Wearing High Heels

At last count Hilary Clinton and Carly Fiorini were the only female candidates. Although I haven't checked out Hilary or Carly's heels to see how they measure up, I hope by now they would know better than to wear high, high heels on the campaign trail. Of course Carly is not a front runner so I would be much more concerned about Hilary's feet since she's been stumping a lot more lately.

High heels tend to cause more problems in women who already have certain foot conditions such as bunions and neuromas. But they also could be problematic if Hilary decided to ditch her high heels for a pair of tennis shoes. Extended wear of high heels can cause the calf muscle to shorten. Suddenly switching to flat, flat shoes can cause the calf muscle to stretch quickly and cause plantar fasciitis. It's best to keep heels at 1 inch to prevent problems.

Being Overweight

Although most of the candidates appear to fall within the normal range for weight, Governor Chris Christy does not. Unfortunately for Governor Christy every extra pound of weight puts more force on his feet making it much more likely that he suffers from one of the following foot problems: heel pain, bunions, or posterior tibial tendon dysfunction. Of course being overweight also puts people at higher risk for diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and stroke.

Getting Older

As we age so does the likelihood that we'll develop a problem with our feet. Common problems seen in older patients are arthritis, fungal nails, loss of fat pads on the bottom of our feet, and balance issues. The oldest candidate front runners are Bernie Sanders - 75, Donald Trump - 70, Hilary Clinton - 69, and Jeb Bush - 63. They are all more likely than their younger counterparts to need a break from stumping, some padding in their shoes, and a handrail to prevent them from tripping while going up to the podium to speak. Candidates that keep themselves healthy and fit are less likely to suffer from some of the problems that affect an aging body, such as balance.

Call us today at 206-368-7000 for an appointment, often same day. You can also request an appointment online.

Get our free foot book "No More Foot Pain", mailed directly to your home.

Seattle foot and ankle specialist, Dr. Rion Berg offers foot care for patients with bunions, heel pain, diabetes, fungal toenails, ingrown nails, and surgical solutions when needed to residents of Seattle, Bellevue, Kirkland, Shoreline, Lake Forest Park, Mountlake Terrace, Lynnwood and other surrounding suburbs.

Follow Dr. Berg on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+

You love your high heels. You've been wearing them most of your adult life, however, recently you've started noticing pain in your knees. In addition, you may have gained weight or be carrying a heavier than average bag.

As a Seattle podiatrist, I've noticed over the years that my patients who wear high heels also complain about knee pain. A study out of Stanford published at the end of 2014, validates that observation by suggesting that high heel use in combination with additional weight may contribute to osteoarthritis of the knees.

The study observed the biomechanics of how 14 women walked when wearing flat shoes, 3.8 centimeter heels, and 8.3 centimeter heels. They also observed the same women while wearing weighted vests.

Changes in the knee mechanics due to the angle of the heels and added weight in the study were similar to those seen in aging and the progression of osteoarthritis. They found that as heel height increased more force was placed on the knee, which could lead to greater risk for knee problems.

 

What are the Solutions?

-Wear shoes that have a heel that is one inch or less in height; this doesn't mean giving up fashion. There are plenty of brands out there that are both fashionable and lower in height.

-Minimize high heel wear - avoid wearing heels every day and save them for special occasions.

-Reduce the amount of weight you carry OR wear tennis shoes on the way to work if you have to carry  a heavy briefcase or purse.

If you're having foot problems as the result of wearing high heels such as bunions and hammertoes, contact us at 206-368-7000 or by requesting an appointment online.

If you’re like most of my female patients who wear high heels, you absolutely love them. No matter how much I might cajole, argue, and prod you to wear something more sensible you just aren’t going to listen to me.

I understand. I have a daughter who works at Nordstrom and even she doesn’t listen to me when it comes to tossing out her 3 inch heels for something more reasonable.

As your Seattle podiatrist, you've forced my hand. Here are some high heel hints I’m only giving out under duress.

The Height or Pitch

The higher the heel the more pressure your foot will apply to the ball of your foot and your toes. So if you buy heels keep this in mind, particularly if you already have problems with bunions or ingrown toenails. The higher the heel the more likely you will worsen these conditions.

Assess Your Feet

Take an honest appraisal of your feet. If you have wider feet or toes that don’t conform to a pointy shoe, look for a high heel that is not that pointy. If you do have a foot condition, high heels probably aren't worth it.

Buy and Try at Home

Those terrific looking shoes may feel OK in the store but once you get outside and walk around for an hour you may find out that they aren’t so comfortable after all. Find out the store’s return policy. Some will let you return shoes if you wear them outside but many don’t.

Correct Size

Make sure the salesperson measures your feet. Although this is true for any shoe purchase having the correct size is even more important if you’re going to be walking around in high heels.

Don’t Buy Cheap

If you’re going to buy a heel, buy a quality shoe. There are lots of inexpensive high heels out there that will kill your feet. Try a well-established company like Munro if you’re going to go higher.

Cushion Your Shoes

Purchase yourself a pair of high heel insoles made just for high heel wearers. These insoles relieve pressure under the forefoot by redistributing your weight in the shoe. According to Superfeet the makers of this insole, it can also help reduce blisters, fatigue, and pump bump--also known as Haglund’s deformity.  

All this being said I still suggest a heel no higher than one inch. In addition, going totally flat is not a good option for most people either, unless you have perfect feet. Stick to a slight heel from a great shoe company with room in the toebox and your feet will wear much better in the long run.

For more information about feet or if you are experiencing foot pain, call us at 206-368-7000 or request an appointment online.