Orthopedic Conditions

Love Wearing High Heels? It Can Lead To These Health Problems

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By Dr Abhishek Vaish, MS, Orthopaedics, Apollo Hospitals Indraprastha, Delhi - 01 August 2022, Updated on - 23 November 2023

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High heels have been in fashion for a long time and are definitely here to stay. People, especially ladies, perceive themselves as more attractive in high heels than in flat shoes. However, most of them are unaware of the pros and cons of wearing high heels for a long duration. Statistics reveal around 20% of women wearing high heels end up with serious health complications. Some of these complications include: 

1) Claw toe

Claw toe is a common problem encountered by women who wear heels on a regular basis. In this condition, the toes bent into an abnormal claw-like shape. They are extremely painful and can make it difficult to walk or run.

claw toe

2) Arthritis of small joints in the foot

Prolonged usage of high heels may lead to early small joint arthritis. This initially was more common in the west, however, due to changes in lifestyle in Asians, this is increasing in incidence here as well. The affected person may have swelling and pain in the foot joints.

3) Joint pain

Excessive usage of high heels alters the biomechanics and balance of the body. The axis of weight transmission shifts in front, which puts more load on other joints like hips and knees. Excessive load on the joints can make them fatigued and painful.


4) Ankle sprains 

Studies reveal the chances of ankle sprains increases by around 40% in people using high heels. Continuous sprains in the ankles can make the joint weak and unstable.

5) Overlapping of toes

Excessive use of high heels can result in painful crowding of toes. Overlapped toes can also cause abrasion on the sides of the fingers and the back side of the heel.

With all that said, we all have understood the side effects of wearing high heels. Therefore, it is important to take a break from your high heels and give your feet some rest by wearing comfortable and foot-friendly shoes and using shoe cushions. If you experience any of the aforementioned problems,

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Orthopedic Conditions

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