pin Our Location 2481 Bloor St. W, Toronto 416.769.3338(FEET)

clock Open Saturdays Mon-Fri 10am-7pm Sat 10am-4pm calendar Book Appointment

See A Licensed Chiropodist

416-769-FEET(3338)

Foot Myths, Debunked And Explained

Our legs are a complex and intricate system of bones, joints, and muscles. Everything is interconnected in some way.

Muscles and joints rely on each other to perform properly, and to provide the necessary foundation for our body. Our habits, genetics, and environment all affect our feet. With so many different possibilities for foot conditions to arise, it’s important to remember that correlation is not causation.

Just because we do one thing, does not necessarily mean it causes another. To help clear the air over a sample of common foot myths, we decided to debunk a few of them below.

1. Flat feet are bad

About 30% of the population lives with flat feet.

Flat feet are defined as a postural deformity in which the arches of the foot collapse. As a result, the entire foot makes contact with the ground. The foot is characterized by a very low arch, and can other foot conditions because of the leg’s compensation.

Flat feet can develop in one foot, or both, depending on your body’s development.

According to Harvard Medical School, even in adulthood, 15% to 25% of people have flexible flatfeet. Most of these people never develop symptoms. For those with what’s called rigid flat feet, several measures can be taken to reduce pain and live comfortably with flat feet. These include:

  • Custom orthotics that artificially raise the arch and provide support
  • Strengthen and stretch your calf as this reduces the pressure and load on your arches
  • Supplement some high-impact exercise with low-impact activities like swimming, cycling, or spinning
  • Anti-inflammatories
  • Wearing slippers or supportive footwear inside instead of walking around barefoot

2. Wearing heels causes all of women’s foot problems

Additionally, a common misconception is that high heels cause bunions. This isn’t true. Heels aggravate bunions but are likely not the cause.

However, excessive heel usage can result in a few common foot conditions: Corns, Hammertoe and Calluses. Additionally, you’re at a greater risk of osteoarthritis since you may lose fat under your foot.

According to WebMD, you can prevent certain foot conditions while continuing to wear heels. Some of these preventative measures include:

  • Get the well-fitted high heel
  • Use silicone metatarsal pads for under your feet
  • Wear a thicker heel for stability
  • Pay attention to the “slope” or “pitch” of the heel
  • Wear open-toe high heels to relieve pressure on corns and calluses

3. A bunion is just a bump

A bunion may look like just a bump. However, that’s another in the list of foot myths. If only it were that simple…

Depending on the cause, your habits may worsen the condition. Maybe you wear shoes with a narrow toebox. Without correction, bunions can get a lot worse over time, turning just a bump into severe pain.

A Bunion, or hallux valgus, is a bony protrusion that forms at the site of the large joint that connects your big toe to your foot.  As you can expect, without addressing the cause of bunions, the toe angle’s alignment can sharpen, causing a larger bump.

It should be noted that bunions can be hereditary, in which case you might be doing everything right. In this instance, continue to practice proper foot habits like:

  • Footwear modification, i.e., avoiding tight shoes with a narrow or stiff toe box.
  • Anti-inflammatory medications
  • Bunion splints
  • Bunion aligner
  • Therapeutic taping
  • Supportive insoles or custom orthotics

You should consult a foot specialist to see whether or not action needs to be taken.

4. Foot pain is the result of getting old

Foot conditions like osteoarthritis are common in older people. Osteoarthritis is a generative joint disease characterized by both a breakdown of cartilage and a build-up of osteophytes.

However, young people are not immune to the foot conditions of the elderly. If you train at a high level and participate in high-impact sports, you may experience osteoarthritis earlier in your life, even in your 20s. Common areas for osteoarthritis include the big toe joint, knees, and hips.

Because osteoarthritis is a degenerative disease, the damage that’s been done is irreversible. The damage to the cartilage between your joints has been done. If this is, in fact, the case, physical therapy is the best course of action. Common treatments include functional improvements – like stretching for a range of motion – and managing symptoms like with rest and ibuprofen.

5. Surgery will fix foot problems

Surgery can help fix certain foot conditions, but non-invasive options may work equally well, if not be more effective.

There are several factors to consider when deciding on foot surgery:

  1. Necessity
  2. Success rate
  3. Cost
  4. Recovery time
  5. Long-term effectiveness

Certain progressive conditions like hallux rigidus, bunions, and a ruptured Achilles may require surgery to correct the inherent problem. However, physical therapy can also improve quality of life. Proper orthotics, avoiding high-impact exercise, proper footwear, and strengthening can help limit pain associated with certain foot conditions.

However, surgery removes the bone portion of the injury. For those with Hallux Rigidus, the Bone Spur contributes to the toe’s stiffness. The range of motion won’t improve without surgery. Although, the worsening of the condition can be slowed with physical therapy as mentioned above.

For those with a Bunion, you’ll want to explore All Non-Invasive Measures before deciding on surgery. If you have explored all options, surgery may be an option. Typically, those who experience significant pain, have severe toe deformities, and have chronic inflammation are the likely candidates for surgery. Bunion surgery (of which there are a few) can include several correct measures:

  • Realigning the metatarsophalangeal (MTP) joint at the base of the big toe.
  • Pain relief.
  • Correcting the deformity of the bones, especially if your big toe is drifting inwards towards your second metatarsal.

If you’re unsure about foot conditions, toenail conditions, or skin conditions, contact us at Feet First Clinic to set up an appointment. You can do that below, or by Contacting Us Here!

Everyday Toe Conditions

It’s all in the toes.

Our toes bear the weight of the body with every step and are the foundation for our movement. The big toe specifically is the final point of contact before each step. In fact, the big toe carries the most weight of all the toes, bearing about 40% of the load.

As a result, many foot injuries and toe conditions stem from, or affect, the big toe.

Maintaining good toe health is crucial for the longevity and long-term health of your feet. There are a number of different foot conditions that can result from toe neglect. Stiff toes, for example, can lead to hallux limitus or hallux rigidus.

Below you’ll find a list of common toe conditions.

Claw Toe

A Claw Toe has an abnormal bend in both the middle joint and the joint closest to the tip of the toe.

Symptoms of claw toe include an upward extension from the joints at the ball of the foot and downward flexion at the middle joints toward the sole of your shoe. Claw toe comes in the shape of a bridge or a hump.

Early on, claw toe resembles a flexible hammertoe (see more below). However, over time, claw toes can stiffen. It’s important to address claw toe early to reverse the deformity.  One such treatment is a splint or tape to hold your toes in the correct position.

Finding shoes that fit correctly is also a key preventative measure. You’ll notice through this article that many toe conditions can be prevented by wearing Proper Footwear. Additionally, you can use your hands to stretch and straighten your toes, and perform exercises including picking up marbles or a towel to strengthen local ligaments and tendons.

Subungual Hematoma

A subungual hematoma is a medical term for a Black Toenail.

A black toenail occurs when the skin below the nail is damaged. Long-distance runners are particularly susceptible to black toenails because of the friction to the top of the foot, as well as the duration of the activity.

Immediately after injuring your toe, you should follow the RICE protocol to reduce the pain and swelling: Rest, Ice, Compress and Elevation. Rest means you should stop doing any physical activity. Wrap a clean bandage around the toe to stem the blood. Put a bag of ice or a cold compress on the covered injury. Then lie down and elevate your foot by resting it on a pillow.

Turf Toe

Turf toe is a sprain of the big toe joint resulting from injury during sports activities.

This acute injury typically occurs from jamming the toe. Turf toe includes pain, swelling and limited joint movement. Following the RICE protocol – rest, ice, compression, and elevation – is beneficial. Additionally, wear stiff footwear to keep the toe at a neutral angle and isolated while walking.

The biggest concern here is either not addressing the injury, or rushing back to activity too quickly. Without the proper treatment, turf toe can turn into hallux limitus.

Hallux Rigidus

Hallux Rigidus
Osteophyte (bone spur) on top of the left first metatarsophalangeal joint (MTPJ) due to hallux rigidus.

Translated to a stiff big toe, hallux rigidus is a progressive condition that stems from osteoarthritis in the big toe. It causes pain and stiffness in the joint and over time, the toe loses flexibility.

As the cartilage at the first metatarsophalangeal joint (MTP) breaks down, the metatarsal bones and the proximal bones rub together. This friction, as well as the body’s response to fill the void left by osteoarthritis results in the formation of a bone spur.

In this case, it’s important to recognize the early signs of hallux rigidus, including at its previous stage hallux limits. Work on improving the range of motion in the toes and invest in custom-made orthotics or footwear with a rocker to reduce the pressure and bend of the big toe.

Hammertoe

Hammertoe is a progressive toe condition that worsens if left untreated. In short, hammertoe is a toe deformity of one or both joints of the second, third, fourth or fifth (little) toes. You’ll see one of the toes shift and cross over another toe.

Hammertoe occurs when you wear ill-fitting shoes. Specifically, footwear that is far too small for your feet. The lack of space deforms your toes and can cause a shift in the tendons and ligaments. Fortunately, addressing the cause quickly can be extremely effective.

Treatment includes:

  • Corn pads
  • Stretching and strengthening your toe and toe and foot muscles
  • Roomier footwear
  • Custom orthotics that help reposition and take the pressure off of your toes
  • Surgery

Left untreated, hammertoe can worsen and require surgery. If your toes appear bent or you are experiencing toe mobility, visit one of our licensed chiropodists (foot specialists) as soon as it’s safe to do so.

Drop-in shoe fitting for hammertoe is also offered.

Gout

Illustration of foot with close up of build up of uric acid in joint of the big toe

Gout is a common and complex form of arthritis that often begins in the big toe.

It’s often known as the “disease of kings” or “rich man’s disease” because it’s prevalent in older men, as well as those who eat meat or seafood, drink beer, or are overweight.

It’s characterized by sudden, severe attacks of pain, swelling, redness and tenderness in the joints. Gout looks like a swollen bunion on the outside of the big toe.

To help prevent gout, you can follow these preventative measures:

  • Drink plenty of fluids
  • Limit or avoid alcohol
  • Get your protein from low-fat dairy products
  • Limit your intake of meat, fish and poultry
  • Maintain desirable body weight

Remember, our bodies begin at our feet. Take proper care through the various methods mentioned in this article to prevent toe conditions from occurring.

Hallux Rigidus or Bunions: What’s The Difference?

If you have a lump on your big toe, you may be wondering whether it’s a Bunion or Hallux Rigidus. Both foot conditions affect the big toe and are bony outgrowths that are progressive conditions that get worse over time if not properly treated. The two conditions are also characterized by bumps on the big toe and can prove to be painful when wearing improper footwear.

Although hallux rigidus and Bunions affect the same joints, the two are quite different and require different treatment. And because our toes are the foundation of our legs, and bodies, proper treatment is essential. For one, you will prolong the joint. And second, proper treatment helps prevent other conditions that can result from compensation.

The most common distinction is where the bony outgrowth can be seen. Hallux rigidus is characterized by a bump on the top of the toe. A Bunion is an outgrowth along the edge of the big toe.

What is Hallux Rigidus?

Overview

Hallux rigidus gets its name from hallux, or big toe, and rigidus, which translates to stiff. In the simplest terms, hallux rigidus is a stiff big toe.

Hallux rigidus develops as a result of Osteoarthritis. As the metatarsophalangeal (MTP) joint breaks down over time, often due to repetitive use, the body responds by creating bone growth as a defence mechanism. As the area becomes increasingly crowded with bony outgrowth, one loses flexibility in their big toe, and the condition worsens as the first long bone (metatarsal) in the forefoot begins to rub against the first bone of the big toe. The bony outgrowth is known as osteophyte. In other words, a bone spur.

Hallux Rigidus
Osteophyte on top of the left metatarsophalangeal joint (MTPJ) due to hallux rigidus.

This area is particularly prone to Osteoarthritis and foot conditions because of the amount of weight the joint bears. As Harvard Medical School puts it, “every time you take a step, the MTP joint bends, allowing the foot to roll forward and push off. During this phase of the walking cycle, the joint supports 50% of the body’s weight.” Yes, 50%.

As the joint stiffens, and your toes lose flexibility, walking, and any other form of weight-bearing exercise for that matter becomes increasingly difficult.

Causes

This condition typically takes many years to develop. In its early stages, you may simply experience a tight big toe, or occasional pain when exercising. Alternatively, hallux rigidus can also develop after trauma to the joint. For example, stubbing your toe repeatedly, and not treating the injury, will contribute to joint decay over time. In fact, many professional athletes experience some form of hallux rigidus, either as a direct result of turf toe or because of years of intensive activity.

NBA legend Shaquille O’Neal is one such example, though he suffered from bone spurs in his little toes. Ballet dancers, thanks for the fact that they are routinely on their tiptoes, are also particularly prone to hallux rigidus.

Finally, hereditary defects and faulty foot mechanics can place additional stress on the joint, triggering arthritis.

Not all toe stiffness is the same. Minor joint stiffness is hallux limitus. Those with the condition have more flexibility and range of motion than those with rigidus, and bone spurs may also be absent. However, without the proper treatment, or ignoring it all together, the condition can quickly worsen. Unlike other injuries that you can injure, hallux rigidus is a progressive, and permanent condition.

Treatment

However, those with hallux rigidus can offset the limits of their big toe in ways to enhance their daily lives. Physical therapy, proper Orthotics, avoiding aggravating exercise, and strengthening the surrounding muscles that relieve pressure on the joint can all improve quality of life. More invasive options include surgery, including fusing the two bones, and a Cheilectomy, which is a surgical procedure to remove excess bone from the joint of your big toe.

You can read more about hallux rigidus and Bone Spurs here.

What is a Bunion?

Overview

Bunions, like hallux rigidus, affect the metatarsophalangeal (MTP) joint, which are the links between your foot and toes.

To make things confusing, the condition is actually known as Hallux Valgus. (Another ‘hallux’ term.)

Bunions occur when the first metatarsal bone of the foot turns outward and the big toe points inward, according to Harvard Health. Unlike hallux rigidus, hallux valgus is the result of your bones shifting, with the resulting protrusion going outwards, and not upwards like with hallux rigidus’s osteophyte.

Hallux valgus, bunion in woman foot on white background
Hallux valgus, or a bunion, with a bump on the left big toe.

There are Several Phases of bunions. To start, a small bump may appear on the outer edge of the foot. Over time, and if the bunion gets worse, the bump will grow, and the big toe will increasingly point inwards, sometimes crossing over your other toes.

Causes

Often, Bunions are the result of narrow-fitting shoes, which can force the big toe inward, scrunching all five toes together. High heels are one example. (In fact, bunions are 10 times more common in women than in men.)

Ill-fitting shoes are however just one of many causes. Genetics can also pass on bunions through generations.  Additionally, your foot type can be a factor.

Treatment

Treatment and preventative measures include finding the Right Shoe, to reduce risks of Bunions from forming in the first place. However, like hallux rigidus, Bunions are a progressive foot condition. Surgery is necessary to actually remove a bunion. But, physical therapy and over-the-counter products can certainly reduce the need for surgery as generally non-invasive options are best.

Conservative Bunion management includes Custom Foot Orthotics, splints, bunions guards, toe separators, and Foot Exercises. For additional treatment options, read our blog on Effective Ways of Treating Bunion Pain.

Are you confused about whether you have hallux rigidus or a Bunion?

Book an appointment with a chiropodist at Feet First Clinic today for a professional diagnosis and appropriate treatment plan.

Different Stages of a Bunion

A bunion, medically known as hallux valgus, is characteristic of an angular bony protrusion that forms at the site of the large joint that connects your big toe to your foot.

This joint, called the first metatarsophalangeal joint (or MTP joint for short)is a critical junction of bones, tendons, and ligaments that bear much of our weight when we’re on our feet. With this deformity, the big toe slowly and gradually turns towards the lesser toes as the joint deviates from proper alignment.

This foot deformity occurs in about 10-30% of the population, affecting twice as many females than males. Bunions are caused by wearing poor-fitting shoes, faulty foot mechanics, muscle imbalances, lax ligaments, inflammatory arthritic conditions, and genetics.

Bunions can be asymptomatic, although some people may experience pain, redness, and swelling at the joint, especially with tight footwear and extended periods of standing or walking. Symptoms tend to subside with rest.

Unfortunately, a bunion is a progressive deformity and is irreversible without surgical intervention. This means they will slowly get worse over time. They are categorized in stages to determine the severity of the deformity.

Without treatment, there is a greater risk a bunion will progress from one stage to the next.

Stages of Bunions

4 stages of bunion deformities

Stage 1

Visually, a bunion at this stage is considered mild. There may be a small “bump” at the side of the 1st MTP joint and the big toe will be slightly turned towards the second toe, although not touching it.

Stage 2

Big toe further deviates from the MTP joint. At this stage, the 1st toe may be touching the 2nd toe beside it.

Stage 3

The bony protrusion at the base of the big toe is significant because at this stage, the base of the 1st toe has developed a bone spur. The 1st toe also starts to rotate on its axis away from the mid-line of the body.

Stage 4

The 1st MTP joint has dislocated and the 1st toe will under ride or override the 2nd toe. At this stage, the 2nd toe will also present with a hammer toe deformity.

Although the only way to reverse a bunion is by surgery, it is recommended if symptoms are not manageable by conservative measures and if function is severely compromised.

Conservative bunion management includes custom foot orthotics, splints, bunions guards, toe separators, and foot exercises.

Conservative treatments help to slow down the progression of a bunion as well as manage pain.

Talk to your Chiropodist about the stage of your bunions and which conservative treatment options would be best for you!

5 Simple Exercises for Bunions

A bunion (also known as hallux valgus) is a deformity of the big toe where the 1st metatarsal phalangeal joint is misaligned. With this deformity, the muscles surrounding the big toe are at an imbalance. In particular, the muscle that pulls the big toe towards the lesser toes is at a mechanical advantage, pulling the big toe closer to the one beside it. This is muscle is called the Adductor Hallucis. To counteract this muscle, we have to strengthen the opposing muscle: the Abductor Hallucis.

The following exercises and stretches focus on the smaller muscles of the foot, which is essential in managing bunions and the pain associated with them.

Toe curls and spreads

Curling toes down and spreading toes upwards

Do this exercise sitting with your foot several inches off the floor. Curl the toes down as if you want to grab something with the toes. Hold that position for 10 seconds and release. Then bring your heel to the ground, lift your foot slightly and spread your toes as far apart as possible. Hold that position for 30 seconds. Do this 5 times on each foot.

Towel grip and pull

Curled toes pulling towel towards foot

Place a towel on the ground and put your foot on top of the towel. Then use your toes to scrunch the towel towards you. Do this for 1-2 minutes on each foot.

Toe stretches

Hand gently pushing toes downward

Use your fingers to press your big toe down and hold that stretch for 30 seconds. Then position your toe in the opposite direction and use your fingers to help reach the end range of motion. Hold this stretch for 30 seconds. Do this 5 times on each foot.

Toe resistance exercises

Use your fingers or your other big toe to create resistance so that the small muscles within the foot are isolated and activated. Place your finger on top of the big toe and while applying a small amount of pressure downwards, move your toe in the opposite direction. Hold this for 10 seconds. Then bring your finger under the toe and apply a bit of pressure pushing the toe upwards. While doing this, push your toe downwards and hold for 10 seconds. Finally, bring your finger to the side of your big toe pushing it towards the second toe. While applying this pressure, move your big toe away from the lesser toes. Hold this for 10 seconds. Do this entire exercise 5 times on each foot.

Toe circles

Do this sitting on a chair. Bring your foot on the knee and use your hand to grip your big toe and run it through circular motions. This keeps the joint mobile.

At first, these exercises may seem unnatural and difficult to do, but with time and consistency, you will get the hang of it!

For more information on bunions, click here!

For more inquiries and hopes to speak to a Licensed Chiropodist, book an appointment at Feet First Clinic.

We are open six days a week!

Is There Any Hope for Bunions?

A bunion is the misalignment of the two bones that make up the joint at the base of the 1st toe (1st metatarsal phalangeal joint). It is characterized by a bony prominence at the side of the base of the big toe and can present with pain, redness, and sometimes even swelling. With time, the big toe may also start to turn towards the toe beside it.

Unfortunately, a bunion is irreversible and progressive once it starts. This means you can’t reverse what has already happened and with time, the bunion will slowly get worse. Even with surgery, there is no guarantee the joint won’t start to be misaligned again.

However, you can drastically SLOW DOWN this progressive deformity and manage the pain that is associated with it. And like with most things in life, the sooner you address the issue, the better the outcome. Follow the recommendations below to help your bunions while you can!

Wear Better Shoes

Your footwear is extremely important in the management of bunions. Limit (and completely eliminate if possible) the use of high heels and narrow, pointed shoes. They are a bunion’s worst nightmare. The constant friction between the bunion and the shoe will only irritate the area causing inflammation and further damage. Try to opt for shoes that have a wider toe box, one that will accommodate the natural shape of your foot. If your foot is wide, don’t fret! There are brands that provide additional width to their shoes. Ara, Saucony, Clarks, Naot, Birkenstocks, and Mephisto are great examples.

26136191_W_10
Clarks – Bay Rosa

Have your foot assessed for Custom Foot Orthotics

Foot function and foot mechanics can also contribute to the formation of bunions. For instance, overpronation, which is the turning in of your foot towards your arches as you are walking, can lead to bunions. With overpronation, the ground pushes up on the 1st metatarsal phalangeal joint leading to unfavourable positions of the surrounding tendons and ultimately, an imbalance in the muscular pull that keeps the joint in place. This imbalance leads to the misalignment of the joint. Therefore, correcting poor foot mechanics with custom foot orthotics can help manage the bunions and prevent them from getting worse.

Use over the counter foot care products

In addition to orthotics, consider using over the counter foot care products to reinforce the most optimal position of the 1st metatarsal phalangeal joint as well as shield it from unwanted pressures. The Ultra Thin Bunion Aligner by Infracare for example, can be worn during the day under your sock and works to gently realign the big toe towards its natural position. Silicone toe spacers, silicone bunion guards, as well as night splints are also good examples of simple foot care supplies that help mitigate pain and protect the joint.

BUNION ALIGNER POSTS

A Chiropodist will assess your foot and be able to determine the cause of bunion formation as well as educate you on the best ways to manage them.

Book an appointment with a Chiropodist at Feet First Clinic today for a professional diagnosis and appropriate treatment plan!

Effective Ways That you Can Treat Your Bunion Pain

Bunions are enlargements and misalignment of the joints at the base of the big toes. The bad news is that bunions will not go away — they are permanent. The good news is that you can stop the discomfort and pain with certain forms of treatment.

One way to treat your bunions is to take anti-inflammatory medication and place ice packs on them to ease any swelling. This is only necessary when they are irritated, inflamed or painful to the touch. While icing your bunions, take a moment to put up your feet and rest.

Another good way to treat your bunions is to ditch the uncomfortable shoes. Many people believe that the foot condition is caused by high heels or pointed-toed shoes, but this hasn’t been proven. However, these types of shoes will exacerbate the problem and make your bunions more prominent and painful. The notoriously tight and narrow shoe styles can also disturb tailor’s bunions or “bunionettes” — these are the bunions sitting on the joints of your smallest toes.

Comfortable shoes with deep toe-beds are excellent treatment options and preventative measures. Visit the clinic to buy the best custom orthotics Toronto has to offer in a variety of styles and brands that will rival your most fashionable high heels. There are plenty of dress shoes available that will look chic and feel comfortable at the same time.

The shoe options will also be helpful for anyone whose bunion has affected their foot shape. If that’s the case, let one of the clinic representatives know and we’ll work hard to get you the right shoe fit.

toronto foot clinic

Another great way to reduce bunion progression is to use custom foot orthotics. Custom foot orthotics can be made to your specific arch profile to reduce excessively high pressures at the forefoot, which can, in turn, aggravate and accelerate bunion formation. Orthotics can also be made to control any biomechanical abnormalities that contribute to higher pressures through the 1st metatarsal head; most commonly overpronation and underpronation.

If you are looking to get a pair of custom orthotics, you should set up an appointment and meet our Toronto team of orthopedic doctors as soon as possible. Our chiropodists will work with you to get the perfect orthotics for your footwear.

The only way to get rid of bunions is to get them surgically removed. You shouldn’t consider bunion surgery unless the condition is impacting your everyday life:

  1. Other treatments are not reducing swelling or pain.
  2. The pain affects your walking.
  3. You circumvent your usual routine to avoid walking, standing or exercise.

You can visit our Toronto podiatry clinic any time you are suffering from foot pain or discomfort. We will work tirelessly to get to the root of your foot problems and find the treatment options that make your life easier.

Bunions shouldn’t dictate your daily life. They shouldn’t stop you from running errands or going for walks. They shouldn’t cause you discomfort the minute you slip on a shoe. Try simple solutions like anti-inflammatories, orthopaedic shoes or orthotics to deal with your bunions. If those don’t cut it, then you can start looking into surgery.

Wearing High Heels All of the Time Is Hard on your Body

Whether it’s a pair of black patent leather pumps, sky-high ruby red stilettos or strappy sandals, high heels are considered wardrobe staples that belong in a woman’s closet. They’re used for special occasions and everyday work-life, going out dancing or going for an important interview. Sadly, these beloved fashion statements can damage parts of your body over time.

Anyone who has ever worn a pair of high heels knows that after a few hours of standing and walking, your feet are throbbing. It’s a relief just to slip them off, sit down and let your pulsing toes have a little bit of a rest. These aches and pains come after only a few hours of wearing the shoes — the long-term effects are much worse.

One of the health problems that people can get from wearing high heels is developing large bumps called bunions on the outsides of their big toes. A bunion is a permanent side-effect, but you can get corrective surgery to remove part of the bone and add screws to keep the foot in an appropriate position.

Another one of the distressing things that high heels do to your feet is create hammertoes, which is when your little toes bend and buckle from the pressure of standing on them. Hammertoe is awkward and sometimes painful. Flexible hammertoes can be reversed through physiotherapy, orthopedic shoe replacements or corrective surgery.

You can explore our website to find out more info about common foot conditions that high heels create like ingrown nails, corns, calluses and blisters. Other types of shoes can cause these, but this style is a popular explanation for a lot of complaints.

Other than foot problems, high heels prematurely age your joints because they won’t allow your knee to straighten while accommodating for the additional weight placed on your legs. The reflex changes your gait (how you walk) and wears down your knees over time.

You’ll also find that high heels cause lower back pain by forcing your lower back to arch to compensate for the fact that you’re balancing your body weight on the balls of your feet. The shoes force your body weight to pull forward, so you lean back when you stand. The position puts a lot of stress on your spinal discs. Sticking with the shoes can lead to poor posture, persistent aches and muscle spasms.

toronto foot clinic

If you have any of the previous physical ailments, you can go to the Toronto foot clinic to see a trained chiropodist to help you find the right foot care options. Solutions for your symptoms can range from simple skin treatments to physical therapy to video gait analysis.

It’s also recommended that you swap your high heels for orthopedics, which will give you the support and comfort you need. You can check out the brands of footwear we carry to see what amazing choices we have for sensible but stylish dress shoes that you will want to put inside of your closet.

It’s clear that high heels are not worth the aches and pains that they put you through. These fashion fundamentals damage your feet, your knees and your back much more than you think. Push those sandals, stilettos and pumps to the back of the closet — it’s time to change up your footwear.