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Numbness From Wearing High Heels

Tuesday, 19 September 2023 00:00

Many women wear high heels, which can lead to numbness in the toes. This common symptom is often overlooked, but it is essential to understand the potential consequences of wearing high-heeled shoes. The primary cause of toe numbness from wearing high heels is the pressure placed on the ball of the foot. As you elevate your heel, your body's weight shifts forward, concentrating the load on a small area. This excess force can compress nerves and blood vessels, and the resulting reduction in blood flow to the front of the foot can cause toes to go numb. Over time, this restricted blood flow can lead to numbness and tingling sensations, making each step more troublesome. Additionally, the unnatural arch in high heels can strain the muscles and ligaments, which adds to the problem. To minimize numbness in the toes, opt for lower heel heights, wear cushioned insoles, and take regular breaks from wearing high heels. If you are experiencing numbness in the toes and feet, which may be the result of wearing high heels, it is suggested that you make an appointment with a podiatrist for an evaluation.

High heels have a history of causing foot and ankle problems. If you have any concerns about your feet or ankles, contact the podiatrists from New England Family Foot Care. 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 office located in Milton, MA . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Why High Heels Are Not Ideal for Healthy Feet
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