High heels are an exercise in tradeoffs. On the one hand, many people like the way they look when they wear them. For some women, pumps with a three- or four-inch heel are a professional expectation. On the other hand, wearing high heels can lead to a range of painful issues for your feet and ankles.
Plantar fasciitis is one of those possible and painful issues.
It’s All About the Tendon and Ligament Link
Your plantar fascia is the ligament that stretches along the bottom of your foot. It is connected to the Achilles tendon, the band of tissue that stretches from the back of the heel up to the calf.
That tendon shortens and lengthens as your foot moves. Wearing high heels shortens the Achilles tendon because your heel is pushed up toward your calf. The shortening of the tendon puts stress on the plantar fascia, which can lead to pain in your arch and heel. Uneven weight distribution that is common when wearing high heels can also contribute to plantar fasciitis.
High Heel Changes: Lower and Less Often
Fortunately, it is generally not necessary to give up high heels completely if you enjoy wearing them. A reduction in heel height or choosing a friendlier dress shoe can be a positive change, as can a move to wear high heels less frequently. Both of these changes will lessen the strain put on your ligaments and tendons. Some light stretching before slipping into your high heels can also make a difference.
If You Are Experiencing Pain in Your Feet, You Should See a Podiatrist
It might be tempting to brush off the pain you are feeling in your feet as the simple price of being fashionable. But pain is a warning signal that something is wrong—possibly seriously wrong. So if you are experiencing pain in your feet or ankles, your best move is to see a podiatrist who can evaluate your situation, make a diagnosis, and offer recommendations for lifestyle changes or treatments that can help.
Let Us Take a Look
At InStride Carolina Podiatry Group, we have the expertise to make the right diagnosis and to get you on the road to recovery. If you are experiencing foot or ankle pain, we encourage you to contact us right away.