Eye on Health: High-heel pain - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Eye on Health: High-heel pain

Story by LaTrice Currie

Eyewitness News Anchor

CHATTANOOGA (WRCB)-- Ladies, before you force your feet into a pair of high-heels, listen up.

Doctors say at least half of women are suffering from pain or lasting medical conditions caused by their shoes.

Bettina Celifie is known for the click of her high heels.

"I really love wearing high heel shoes. There are times when you feel sleeker, there are times when they empower you," says Celifie.

For many women the emotional feeling is a good one, but the physical pain that often comes with cramming your foot into the perfect pump can be a sign of lasting consequences.

"All those pressures get transferred to the forefoot and they cause angulation this way," says Dr. Eric Horton, orthopedic surgeon.

Foot and ankle specialist, Dr. Eric Horton, says stylish high-heels can lead to instability and deformity, causing conditions like hammertoes, constricted nerves and bunions that may need corrective surgery.

"And if our foot is forced to be in a certain confined posture for a long period of time eventually it's going to overload the soft tissues and the joints causing them to misalign," says Dr. Horton.

The uneven pressure is also a problem.

Dr. Horton says you should try to avoid heels over two inches and try to keep from wearing heels for more than four hours.

That's bad news for Bettina.

"Isn't there anything I can take, a foot pill, a shoe pill, something, something that I could take to make it right," says Celifie.

There's not really, although some shoe inserts may help.

Dr. Horton recommends re-measuring your foot to make sure you're wearing the correct size, buying shoes slightly larger than your measured forefoot, because feet swell during the day.

In the end, Bettina says if she had to give up her favorite footwear she'd survive.

"It would be very devastating but I have really cute flat shoes as well," says Celifie.

If you just can't give up the heels, other advice is to look for flexible soles, wear open toe shoes that give your foot more room, and on "strappy" heels make sure the straps are thick enough to keep your foot snug.

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