Is Pain From High Heels Common?

Is pain from high heels common? Most women wear them. Whether is a workplace social norm or requirement, whether the shoes went well with the dress, or they just wanted to wear them, high heels are everywhere. Unfortunately, that means that pain is as well. Is pain from high heels common? Simply put, it is extremely common. The way feet in heels sit can bring about pain and even numbness if worn for too long. 

wearing heelsFeet in Heels

So why is pain from high heels common? The answer is the way the feet are positioned within the heels. High heels force the foot into an unnatural position. The heel is elevated, the toes are usually condensed and the entire foot is on an angle. The higher the heel, the more extreme, as the elevated position pulls your weight forward and places most of your weight on the ball of your foot. It pulls muscles and joints out of alignment which can lead to pain in areas beyond the feet. It is not uncommon for high heel wearers to report lower back, neck, and shoulder pain.

Issues From High Heel Wear

Not only is pain from high heels common, but so too are numerous other foot issues. Chronic high heel wearing can lead to corns, calluses, bunions, hammertoes, plantar fasciitis, and Morton’s neuroma.

Calluses and corns are thick areas of skin caused by pressure. The way the high heel forces your foot into a small box causes increases friction on both the tops and bottoms of your feet.

A bunion is a bony bump that forms at the base of the big toe. High heels tend to have tiny toe boxes that jam feet into an unnatural triangular shape. Over time this causes a bunion. 

Hammertoes occur in the toes next to the big toe and affect the middle joint causing it to bend at an unnatural angle. Similar to bunions, hammertoes are caused by small toe boxes and gravity pushing the foot further into the tiny box. 

Plantar fasciitis is the inflammation of the plantar fascia, the band of tissue that connects the heel to the toes. 

Morton’s neuroma is a condition characterized by burning pain in the ball of the foot or numbness. This condition has been directly linked to high heel wear. 

relaxing in heelsRelieve Pain from Feet in Heels

Although the answer to the question, “Is pain from high heels common?” is yes, they are many easy ways to relieve that pain. The best way to stop pain from high heels is to stop wearing the heels. This will allow your feet to relax and take on their natural shape. If this is not an option, you can also reduce the heel height. Chunkier heels also provide better support. While six-inch heels might look fabulous, they will kill your feet. Opt for a three-inch heel instead. The shape of the toe on your shoe can also be the cause of your pain. If you experience pain near your big toe or little toe, in the area where the lip of the toe section crosses, you should get a shoe where the lip of the toe section crosses higher up on your foot or lower on your foot. 

Stretching Your Feet

If you are deadset on keeping your heels, there are stretches you can do to help with the pain. You are going to want to stretch the plantar fascia and calves. A great way to stretch the plantar fascia and calves is to first find a wall. You will want to face the wall and place both hands on the wall for support. You will then wedge your toe against the wall with your heel on the floor. Bend your front knee forward and hold the stretch for about 20 seconds. 

Another exercise you can do is the towel stretch. For this stretch, you will need to wrap a towel around the ball of your foot. With your knee straight and your heel on the ground, you will begin to pull the towel toward you. Hold the stretch for around 20 seconds. 

You will also want to stretch your toes. Slip your fingers between your toes, sole to palm. Hold this position for around 20 to 30 seconds. You should feel the stretch between your toes. You can also pull your toes down to stretch them in a different direction. This stretches the top of your toes and foot. 

After you finish the stretches on one foot, be sure to do the other. Also, make sure to pay attention to your body. If you feel any sharp pain or feel like any stretch is making your pain worse, stop and talk to a doctor. They can help you figure out the next steps.

Toes Numb After Wearing Heels

If your toes are numb after wearing high heels, you might be suffering from Morton’s Neuroma. As mentioned earlier, Morton’s Neuroma is characterized by either a burning pain in the toes or numbness. It is most commonly felt between the third and fourth toes. 

This condition is caused by the thickening of the tissue around a nerve in the foot. Although most people will find relief by choosing a lower heel, some people will need more intervention. Corticosteroid injections or surgery may be the best course of action in extreme cases.

pain from heelsWhy Do My Feet Hurt in Heels

Is pain from high heels common? 71% of wearers experience pain. That seems to say that the answer to the question, “Is pain from high heels common?” is yes. 

If your high heel pain persists and you live near Algonquin, consider visiting the doctors from the Foot and Ankle Specialists of Illinois. They offer expert, comprehensive care that is sure to get you back on your feet in no time. Foot health is an often neglected part of personal healthcare. Stay on top of yours with the Foot and Ankle Specialists of Illinois.

Written by Ali Hyderi