Health, HEALTH/FOOD

Ouch! My Feet Ache

“But I just love my heels”

Many women will not give up their high heels

high heelsWomen, young and not so young, simply love wearing heels. There is definitely a difference in how we strut, feel elegant and sexy in heels. It influences our gait, the way we walk and boost self-confidence. In other words, heels add to the sex appeal.

Many of us who are vertically challenged bear the discomfort just to gain a few added inches to our height. But how do we explain that very tall girls are also wearing very high heels?

What about the health risk?

There are ankle and foot complaints linked to high heels. Here are a few:

Sprain and strain

These injuries can result from a severe twisting of the ankle. The higher the heels the more serious the injury is to the tendons and ligaments in the ankles and forefoot.

Ball of foot pain

Metatarsalgia is also commonly referred to as ball of the foot pain. This is the sole of the feet between the toes and the forefoot. The pain results from wearing poorly fitted footwear with narrow areas for the toes. Also shoes with high heels (often as high as 6 inches) shifts too much pressure on the metatarsal bones.

Preventive Care

The obvious immediate solution is to stop wearing ill-fitting shoes including high heels and narrow toe shoes.

Ease the pain and discomfort at the end of the day by soaking the feet in warm soapy water and giving them a thorough massage.

There are massaging slippers that can relax the muscles of the feet.

Have an assessment done by the podiatrist

It is time to consult with the podiatrist when there is persistent tenderness, pain and swelling of the feet in the area of the ball of the feet. If you are unable to weight bear, then this is a clear indication of metatarsalgia.

The podiatrist provides preventive care and therapy for a wide range of problems which affect the feet, ankles and lower legs. He or she will do an assessment of the complaint and will be keen to hear from you what are your daily activities, type of occupation, what aggravates the pain, whether there is any activity which triggers the pain and what first aid alleviates the pain.

Because ill-fitting footwear plays such a major role in ball of the foot pain, public education must be ongoing to alert persons of the potential problem which could occur over time.

One of the services offered by the podiatrist is biomechanical measurements of the lower limbs. This helps to determine the cause of the pain and the precise measurements of the insoles to relieve the pain by redistributing the weight to other areas of the foot. Other products used by the podiatrist include gel metatarsal cushions and bandages. These products can give significant relief to the ball of foot pain.

If you insist on wearing high heels at least pamper your feet daily.

Readers Bureau, Contributor

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