Injuries associated with high heel shoes

Injuries associated with high heel shoes

High heel shoes place the foot in an obviously unnatural position. This leads to many acute and chronic injuries which include:

1) Ankle sprains: when the foot is in a downward angle the ankle becomes less stable. The higher the heel of the shoe the less stable the ankle joint becomes. This will increase the chance of a sprain or possible fracture of the ankle joint.

2) Sesamoiditis: the higher the heel the more weight on the forefoot. This can create inflammation and pain around the sesamoid bones whose role is to offload pressure from the ball of your foot.

3) Mortons neuroma: The increased pressure on the forefoot may result in a drop in the transverse metatarsal arch of your forefoot. This realignment can irritate the nerves of the forefoot with resultant neuroma formation and pain

4) Intermetatarsal bursitis: The bursa are fluid filled sacks that play a role in protecting bones and joint capsules from excessive amounts of pressure. When they cannot counter the increased force on the forefoot from a high heel shoe they can become inflamed and painful

5) Bunions:The increased load on the joint that attaches the big toe to the forefoot can result in the joint locking in what is known as sagittal plane restriction. Combined this with the pointed shaped toe box of many high heels and your likelihood of developing a bunion can be dramatically increased

6) Shortening of the Achilles tendon: The elevated position of the heel places the Achilles tendon in a shortened position resulting in slackness. This structure is designed to function in a taut position so over time the body resorbs the slack resulting in a shortened tendon which may cause many other conditions to develop

7) Osteoarthritis: The multiple joint mal-alignments can result in joint restriction of hypomobility. This over time wears away joint cartilage leading to articular degeneration also known as osteoarthritis.

8) Fat pad inflammation and degeneration: The joints of the forefoot are protected from the forces of the ground by a visco-elastic fat pad. The increased load of the forefoot from high heeled footwear results in fat pad degeneration which leads to the formation of painful corns and callus.

I hope you found this FOOT FACT helpful. If you have any questions about podiatry and related health issues use our online enquiry form on the Podiatry clinic Chatswood website Chatswood Podiatrist

Or call us to arrange a consultation 94115517

Posted by Luke Bortolussi: Bachelor of Applied Science (Podiatry)