Bunions, also known as hallux valgus, are bony bumps that form at the base of the big toe joint and can cause pain, redness, swelling, and tenderness. A lot happens before one starts developing a bunion, and high heels are a known risk factor for the condition.
In this article, we will explore the relationship between bunions and high heels and discuss ways to mitigate the risk. We will also share where you can go in San Antonio for the expert treatment of bunions.
The Connection Between Bunions and High Heels
High heels, with their elevated heel and narrow toe box, put excessive pressure on the front of the foot, and this includes the big toe. As a result, your weight is shifted forward, forcing your toes into an abnormal position. Over time, the pressure can lead to the formation of a bump at the base of the big toe.
The bump may seem like a superficial issue, however, there are structural changes occurring in your foot. Most importantly, there is a change in the alignment of bones in your big toe joint, which results in bunions. Bunions can cause painful symptoms and make it harder to feel comfortable in shoes.
It is important to know that wrong footwear alone is not the sole cause of bunions. Other risk factors are often involved, such as genetics, pregnancy, certain health conditions like neuromuscular conditions or rheumatoid arthritis, which can also contribute to their development.
How to Lower the Risk of Bunions
If you have bunions in your family, you need to take steps to actively reduce your risk. Bunions can cause pain when walking and standing and limit your mobility.
Here are some useful tips for minimizing the risk of developing or worsening bunions:
1. Wear Comfortable Shoes
Opt for shoes with a wider toe box and lower heel to provide more space for the toes and reduce pressure on the front of the foot. Also, look for shoes that offer proper arch support and cushioning.
2. Limit Heel Height
If you can’t resist wearing heels, choose ones with a lower heel height. Lower heels put less strain on the feet and reduce the angle at which your toes are forced into the shoe.
3. Alternate Shoe Styles
Avoid wearing high heels every day. Rotate your footwear and alternate between flats, sneakers, and low-heeled shoes to give your feet a break from heels, especially for longer walks and any other activity that needs you on your feet for an extended period.
4. Stretch and Strengthen
Regularly stretch your calf muscles and perform exercises that strengthen the muscles around your feet and toes. This can help maintain flexibility and proper alignment, reducing the strain on the big toe joint.
5. Use Padding and Inserts in Footwear
Consider using cushioning pads or orthotic inserts to provide extra support and alleviate pressure on the front of the foot. These can help redistribute weight and relieve discomfort even with bunions.
6. Seek Professional Advice
If you are experiencing persistent pain or notice a bunion forming, it is essential to consult with a podiatrist. A podiatrist is a foot and ankle doctor who can provide a proper diagnosis and suggest appropriate treatment options specific to your condition and lifestyle.
Bunion Treatment in San Antonio, Boerne, Hondo, Floresville, Kenedy, Uvalde, and Live Oak, TX
Don’t let bunions take over your life. If you are starting to notice a bump develop at the base of your big toe, act quickly, so you can continue living a comfortable and active life. Schedule an appointment with one of our foot and ankle surgeons at The Podiatry Group of South Texas.
Our podiatrists are experts and use state-of-the-art equipment in the treatment of many podiatry issues. We will thoroughly assess your condition, listen to your concerns, and develop a customized treatment plan tailored to your needs.
We believe in a holistic approach to foot care, addressing the root causes of your discomfort rather than just the symptoms. Call our podiatry office near you or use our online form to make an appointment. We look forward to seeing you soon!