High Heel Foot Problems

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Back; Lower Back

(This information has been copied from my Bizarre web page, where it first appeared.)

...there are some people including orthopedic surgeons who believe that high heels cause back problems. However, I have never been convinced of this.

While it is well known that standing up in high heels makes the buttock stick out by about 25% more, I see the entire natural curve of the spine become more enhanced and beautiful looking. Also, I have known many young, middle aged and old aged women, who wear high heels and neither mentioned nor seemed to have back problems.

There are a few more points that I like to make regarding high heels and back problems:

1) There are many men and women who never wear high heels and have back problems.

2) Most people get backaches once in a while (and not from wearing high heels).

3) Again, standing up in high heels enhances the natural curve of the spine. If high heels were to alter the curve of the spine in the opposite or unnatural direction and create an ugly hunch in the lower back, then there would be cause for alarm.

4) It is nearly impossible to dance with a bad back, yet tango dancers and exotic dancers dance in high heels regularly. So, it may be wise to learn from them and practice what they do. You can find out more about tango dancing from the links on my Dancing web page. Exotic dancing can be learned from some video courses that are available at the following banner link:

Bunions; Bunionettes

A bunion is a condition in which the first or big toe becomes crooked, while a bunionette is a similar condition that affects the fifth or smallest toe. The crooked toe can hurt and affect one's ability to walk.

A bunion can also hurt so bad and/or make it impossible to walk so that surgery is required. After bunion surgery, the toe is usually not good enough for wearing high heels. So, a bunion can rob a person of her ability to wear high heels.

Out of all the medical books and web sites that I have seen explaining bunions, the best and most accurate is the book The Foot Doctor by Glenn Copeland, D.P.M. (Macmillan 1996, Pages 44-57). Bunions are not caused by ill-fitting shoes. "Abnormal pronation causes bunions."

Abnormal pronation is a biomechanical fault problem with the foot. "The majority of bunion cases involve two biomechanical faults: a combination of abnormal subtalar joint pronation and a foot that has an excessively flexible first metatarsal bone." Dr. Copeland says that with computer gait analysis, most cases of bunions can be corrected with the use of orthotics.

Again, ill-fitting shoes do not cause bunions, but the shoes can trigger and/or aggravate the condition.

(This information has been copied from my News web page, where it first appeared.)

...high heels do not cause bunions, but they can aggravate bunions by putting some extra pressure on the toes. What is really triggering Kris's bunions are the shoe's "narrow toes". Kris would still probably have bunions even if she wore flat-heeled shoes with pointed toe boxes that were too narrow for her feet.

This is not just my opinion. See http://www.footphysicians.com/footankleinfo/bunions.htm

In regards to tight shoes, professional surveys consistently indicate that many women wear shoes that are too small for their feet. Also, men get bunions. If you want additional information about bunions with a diagram, click here to see facts about bunions from the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.

In regards to wearing high heels, it may help to avoid or limit the use of pointed toe boxes and other toe boxes that are too narrow for the feet wearing them. Everyone has different shape of feet. It may help to select high heels with toe boxes that are shaped similarly to the feet that will wear them.

Acupuncture Meridians & Foot Reflexology

Meridians were discovered over 4,000 years ago in China and have been scientifically proven to exist. There are 14 of these meridians that are located throughout the body and involved in the health of various bodily functions. Acupuncture involves stimulating various points along these meridians to promote healing in corresponding body parts. Some women avoid face lifts because the meridians in their faces would be stretched out of place; while some women sacrifice their facial meridians for beauty.

These meridians also run down into the tips of the fingers in the hands and tips of the toes in the feet. Most acupuncture points in the feet are located on the upper part of the feet, so they are not affected by wearing high heel shoes. Note that some of these acupuncture points are located very close to or on the edges of feet so that they may be affected by shoes (flats as well as high heels) that are too narrow.

Foot reflexology is based on a different set of pressure points that are located on the soles or bottom of the feet, as well as the upper part of the feet and back of the ankles and feet. Like acupuncture points, these foot reflexology pressure points also correspond to various body parts. However, unlike acupuncture points running along the meridians, foot reflexology pressure points have not yet been scientifically proven to exist.

If there is any concern to those who wear high heel shoes, it would involve the various pressure points located in the ball of the feet as extra weight pressure is placed on them. Standing and walking in high heel shoes may stimulate these pressure points. Hopefully, all this does is energize, rejuvenate and help people feel better.

However, one may wonder whether it is possible to over-stimulate these pressure points. In the worst case scenario, it appears that over-stimulation is somehow limited and the pressure points are somehow turned off. This must be the case, as one examines women who wear high heel shoes all or most of the time and finds them still alive and in good health.

Furthermore, ballet pointe dancers over-stimulate and pummel all of the pressure points in the tips of their toes. Yet, they are usually in the very best of health.

In regards to foot reflexology pressure points, the same exact pressure points supposedly exist in the hands as well. Mildred Carter, one of the world's premier experts on foot reflexology, has authored "Helping Yourself With Hand Reflexology" as well as "Helping Yourself With Foot Reflexology".


On October 13, 2002, I posted a link with a picture of a leg with ankle equinus at LaTrobe University web page about ankle equinus. The foot also has a very high foot arch and odd looking toes. The floor might have been cold causing the toes to curl up, but this is more likely a case of what is medically called "hammertoes". The toes resemble little hammers.

One of the main causes of hammertoes is shoes that do not fit, being too short, narrow or shallow. For example, high heels with pointed toe boxes that are too narrow for the toes.

Remember this if you do not want toes that look like little hammers. Hammertoes can also lead to corns (or thickened skin) on top of the toes.

Also, check my Doctors , Dr. Vaughan and News web pages.


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All About Wearing High Heels

This page was last edited on December 17, 2005.
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