How High Heels Affect Nerves in Your Feet

How High Heels Affect Nerves in Your Feet

Do you find yourself choosing high heels more often than you wear flats or supportive footwear? Wedges, pumps, and stilettos may be great for your style, but if you wear any type of high heels frequently, they could be affecting the nerves in your feet.   

The board-certified providers at Arlington/Mansfield Foot & Ankle Centers, specialize in treating Morton’s neuroma, a nerve condition often caused by wearing high heels at our offices in Arlington and Mansfield, Texas. In the early stages, this condition may be treatable with less invasive measures, but waiting for help can mean surgery.  

Keep reading to learn why you may need to switch away from heels and into a shoe that’s better for the health of your feet.      

The connection between heels and foot health 

Your feet are an amazing part of your body. They work to distribute your weight evenly and absorb the shock your body experiences when you walk, run, or jump. 

When you wear high heels, your weight shifts forward. This puts most of the pressure of bearing your weight on the ball of your foot and your toes. Even a low heel (up to one inch) can increase the pressure on the balls of your feet by 22%.

In addition, high heels change your gait (the way you walk) and your posture. And the more you wear them, the more at-risk you become for foot issues, like bunions, hammertoes, plantar fasciitis, calluses, and Morton’s neuroma.

Understanding Morton’s neuroma  

A neuroma develops when a nerve has been partially or completely disrupted. You’re diagnosed with Morton’s neuroma when the nerve affected is in the ball of your foot, typically between your third and fourth toes. 

When the tissues around the nerves going to your toes grow and thicken into a fibrous mass, it causes pressure and irritation on the nerves. Although you can’t see this tissue through your skin, it creates significant discomfort.

Symptoms of Morton’s neuroma can vary from person to person but commonly include:

These symptoms may get worse when you walk or run while taking off your shoes and rubbing your feet may alleviate your discomfort.   

Treating Morton’s neuroma

If you wear high heels and are experiencing the symptoms of Morton’s neuroma, it’s time to schedule an appointment with a board-certified podiatrist. At Arlington/Mansfield Foot & Ankle Centers, our experts recommend different treatments depending on the stage of your neuroma and the severity of your symptoms. 

When caught early, conservative treatments may be enough to reduce the pressure on the nerve. These less-invasive therapies may include:

If your neuroma is severe or if more conservative therapies don’t resolve the problem, your provider may recommend removing the neuroma with surgery. 

Don’t wait to contact a provider at Arlington/Mansfield Foot & Ankle Centers if you think you may have a neuroma! Early diagnosis and treatment are key to a full recovery. Call the office nearest you or request an appointment online.  

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