Do you still think high heels are worth it?

Do you still think high heels are worth it?

That's not what fashion-conscious women want to hear - another warning about high heels. But, according to the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons, pump-type shoes often cause significant pain by irritating a common bone deformity at the back of the heel, called a "pump hump". In many cases, it can lead to bursitis or Achilles tendinitis if left untreated.

"Small pumps are common among young women who wear high heels almost every day," said Marybeth Crane, DPM, FACFAS, a Dallas-area foot and ankle surgeon practicing near the airport. International DFW is well populated with flight attendants. She added that the dress codes of the employees of most airlines require flight attendants to work with high heels and that their feet take a hit.

"The rigid back of a pump-type shoe can create pressure that aggravates the bones of the heel when walking," said Crane.

According to the consumer website ACFAS, FootPhysicians.com, bone enlargement can cause Achilles tendinitis or bursitis due to constant irritation of the pump shoes. Those with high arches or tight Achilles tendons are particularly vulnerable to developing a pump hump if they work with high heels.

The medical term for the disorder is the deformation of Haglund. In addition to the visible hump, symptoms include pain when the Achilles tendon attaches to the heel, swelling at the back of the heel, and redness in the area.

In the vast majority of cases, the lifting of the pump is treated nonsurgically by reducing inflammation, but this does not suppress bone enlargement. "Pain relief is the main goal of treatment, so anti-inflammatory drugs are usually prescribed," said Crane. She added that freezing the back of the heel reduces swelling and that stretching exercises can relieve tension in the Achilles tendon. In the long run, however, it is best to avoid wearing high heels, if possible.

"When the dress code of the office or the airline requires high heels, I advise women to try to lift the heel to reduce the pressure on the heel or to wear appropriate street shoes back soft or without back "said Crane.

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