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High Heel Pain

How can high heels hurt my feet?

For women who wear heels, high heel pain is nothing new!

However, high heels can result in foot conditions that can cause pain not only in your feet, but also in your knees and lower back. It’s important to get in-the-know about how high heels can cause you pain, so that you are aware of the possible foot-related complications.

Common high heel related pain and conditions:

  • Metatarsalgia (ball of foot pain) and stress fractures: High heels position your feet to point the toes downwards, which can put a lot of stress on the ball of your foot. Generally, the higher the heel, the worse this stress will be.

    Also, when your toes strain upwards to meet the ground, the natural padding on the ball of your foot shifts, which leads to even more pressure being exerted on your metatarsal bones. The pain that results is referred to as metatarsalgia.

    Stress fractures of the metatarsal bones can occur if the strain on the bone is great enough.

  • Heel pain: Most often associated with long-term wear of high heels, heel pain can result from the shortening of the calf muscles that occurs when you wear heels. For those that wear heels often, the calf muscle can become tight. After removing your heels, the calf muscle is allowed to stretch out, which can cause a painful pulling at the heel.

  • Toenail deformities: Wearing high heels causes your weight to shift to the front of your foot, pushing your toes into the front of the shoe. Since heels are often pointed or have a narrow toe box, this puts additional pressure on your toes and toenails. Damage to your toenails can occur as they rub against the shoe.This can result in nail deformities.

  • Fractures and sprains: High heels push the weight of our body forward onto the front of our feet, which often leads us to lean backwards. In order to balance, we rely heavily on our leg muscles. The more you rely on our lower legs for balance, the more likely you are to suffer a balance-related injury, such as a sprain or fracture.

    Sprains can be a long-lasting injury that can be difficult to fully treat. Also, if the injury is severe enough, it can cause a bone to break in the ankle or foot.

  • Bunions and hammertoes: Used to describe crooked toe positions, these conditions can be quite painful. They are often linked to the wearing of closed-toe shoes, and in particular, heels.

  • Knee and lower back pain: When heels angle your toes downward, they alter the alignment of the rest of your body, which can contribute to lower back pain. Also, in order to maintain balance, your back will often arch, which can contribute even more so to your lower back pain. Higher-heeled shoes can also result in knee pain.

Rear view of woman standing in jeans & boots with legs crossed