High heels may cause serious foot problems

High heels can cause bunions, but doctors may be able to reduce the impact of uncomfortable footwear.

High heels may cause serious foot problemsBunions, forefoot pain, sprained ankles and lower back pain are among the risks associated with wearing high heels. Women who regularly wear high heels often experience these symptoms, and they can occasionally lead to long-term problems. 

A survey conducted by the American Podiatric Medical Association reported that 42 percent of women admitted they would wear a shoe they liked even if it gave them discomfort, and 73 percent admitted already having a shoe-related foot issue.

Women aren’t ready to give up their shoes just yet, according to Dr. Jeffery Agricola of Prestige Podiatry in Carmel, Ind., and doctors are working to find a way to let women keep the heels on without the pain. For example, some providers create custom prescription orthotics to fit in shoes.

"We don't condemn the shoes," he told The Indianapolis Star. "We just try to accommodate the shoes. It mentally takes a toll when a person can't wear the cute shoes they're excited about."

Another doctor quoted by the news provider, Dr. Tracey Warner, suggested that women wear heels that are three inches and under, and spend 80 percent of their time walking in comfortable, solid shoes. 

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