JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Women love their high heels. But they can do some damage to your feet on and off.
Aretha Franklin fractured her toe after stepping on a spiked stiletto and killer heels sent Victoria Beckham into foot surgery. But even without a freak accident, you may want to hang up your favorite pair of pumps.
New research shows high heel fashionistas walk with flexed feet even when they are barefoot, putting them at higher risk for muscle injury and other problems.
Jacksonville podiatrist Dr. Vimal Reddy says when the heel is in the show, the position of the foot changes.
Walking in your stilettos could also lead to permanent damage in your calf muscle, as each step shortens it, the pressure also stiffens your achilles tendon, instead of allowing it to flex.
"If you get into shoes like that too quickly or wear high heel shoes for too long, it's all about the pressure on your foot so increased pressure in the forefoot causes conditions like neuromas, bunions, hammer toem so you get worse," says Reddy.
If you're going to wear high heels, Reddy says limit how much you wear them.
"You can get away with going to church, a wedding, a dinner. Wearing high heels for two to three hours is fine but if you wear them for eight to 10 hours all day, it constricts your foot and puts it in that abnormal position. That's when you're going to run into issues." warns Reddy.
While you may think it's just stilettos that you need to worry about, doctors say some of the most dangerous heels are high platform wedges, because one wrong step can increase the risk of foot fracture. However, both put force on the achilles tendon which can also lead to problems in the back and knee.
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