Donning those little red heels too often could increase a woman’s risk of developing Morton’s neuroma, according to research out of the United Kingdom.
A quick look into the health records found that the number of people suffering from the condition has doubled in the past 10 years. Additionally, four times as many women as men in the UK were admitted to the hospital with the condition in 2014. The largest demographic affected by the condition is women between the age of 40 and 69.
Doctors describe the condition as “walking on razor blades,” and researchers say high heels are exacerbating the condition.
“We have known for a long time that the condition seems to predominantly affect females of a middling age, with speculation that high heels and other such tightly fitting and unnatural footwear,” said Dr. Andrew Craig, an orthopaedic research fellow at Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. “Despite looking fabulous, I’m sure [heels] may play a role.”
According to hospital records, in 2004-05, roughly 1,200 women between 40 and 69 were admitted to the hospital for Morton’s nueroma treatment. Records from 2014-15 show that the number of women in that same demographic treated for the condition had jumped to 2,532 – an increase of 115%.
Morton’s Neuroma Treatment
Morton’s neuroma is a condition that affects the nerve that runs between your toes. Fibrous tissue builds up around the nerve, causing it to become compressed. This compression causes extreme discomfort and pain. Doctors say years of walking in heels of ill-fitting shoes can push the toe nerves against the toe bones, causing the compression.
Insoles, physical therapy and injections can help alleviate symptoms, but a recent study found that just over half of patients with the condition require surgery. The operation involves alleviating the compression by cutting the nerve or fibrous tissue in the area. In extreme cases, doctors can remove the nerve, which will get rid of the pain, but it will leave the patient without sensation in that part of their foot.
So as we’ve said before, you don’t need completely give up you high heels, but don’t wear them for extended periods, and don’t wear particularly high heels. Give your feet a break, and you’ll notice you’ll be walking in less pain!