Why Do High Heels Cause Bunions?
A bunion is a prominence on the inside aspect of the forefoot. It comes from a malalignment of the first ray and loss of balance of muscle forces across the joint.
There are several reasons why bunions develop:
- Congential. Some people are born to develop bunions
- Trauma. Striking the inside of the big toe can tear the supporting ligaments and permit the malalignment to develop
- Shoewear. This is the most common cause.
There is no getting around it. Shoes cause a repetitive microtrauma to the forefoot ligaments. Feet are supposed to spread apart as we stand but most of our shoes are designed to push the toes together. High heels further exaggerate these forces and position all of the body weight on top of a smaller area.
Don’t get me wrong, I think high heels look great, but they do cause harm. So what’s a girl gonna do?
Like everything in life, moderation is the key. Here are a few tips to cut down on the risk of bunions while wearing heels:
- Wear them for short periods of time
- Never walk long distances in them
- Always give your feet a break
- If you can, avoid dancing in heels. It’s beautiful, but dancing puts even more pressure on the forefoot.
Most importantly, use common sense when you buy shoes. If they hurt in the store, put them back. Pain is your foot’s way of saying: “You are stretching me, please stop.” Do your body a favor and listen to it.