No one can deny Victoria Beckhams charm, style and gorgeous looks. Who else could switch roles from pop singer to a full-time mum and from mother to fashion icon. Her 6 inch stiletto heels have become a trademark with millions of followers all over the world wanting to immolate her style and footwear. But recently pictures of her bunions have been splashed over the press and it is reported that the pain from her bunions has forced the fashion icon into flat flip flops.
So do you think the price of wearing those killer heels is worth it? Well we at Dr Foot have to disagree. Podiatrists generally define high heels as shoes with a heel more than 2 inches. An elevated heel lifts the foot out of its natural position and shortens the Achilles tendon. As your weight is disproportionately at the front of the shoe this changes the stabilizing mechanics of the foot. This loss of stabilizing mechanics has some serious implications! As narrow shoes have a smaller point of contact this causes the foot to internally rotate which apart from making women more prone to ankle sprains it also results in biomechanical changes that can affect the back, knees, neck and can even be a cause of headaches.
All that cramping of the toes has caused Victoria Beckham to get those bunions. Bunions are one of the most common forefoot deformities. A displacement of the bone under the first toe occurs. This causes the big toe to move towards the smaller toes. This shifting of the bones causes a bony prominence on the side of the patients foot (the bunion joint). Over a period of time the big toe may come to rest under (occasionally over) the second toe.
Symptoms include redness, swelling and pain which may be present along the inside margin of the foot. The patients feet may become too wide to fit into their normal size shoe and may experience moderate to severe discomfort which may occur when the patient is wearing tight shoes. A "hammer toe" may occur at the second toe. This is when the toe contracts and presses into the shoe. Subsequently, this may cause a corn on top of the second toe.
Bunions do not discriminate between classes or social backgrounds. Some podiatrists blame shoe manufacturers for the rise in bunions but manufacturers are only responding to fashion trends.
Bunions affect women far more than men, however just like Victoria Beckhams husband, fellow footballers can also get bunions from wearing tight football shoes. The rise of the incidence of bunions is partly due to restrictive footwear but also women generally tend to have looser ligaments which make them more prone to this condition.
Lets insert a small caveat here; women who wear sensible shoes and even some cultures that do not wear shoes at all can get bunions. This is due to hereditary and biomechanical factors. However most podiatrists will agree that wearing those killer heels increases the chance of bunions.
Treatment options vary from conservative treatment options such as bunion day & night splints to orthotic's such as the Dr Foot Pro or Dr Foot Work Insoles. Orthotics are effective in treating the underlying biomechanical cause of the condition. Exercise can help strengthen tendons and muscles around the bunion joint; drfoot.co.uk has a dedicated page for bunion exercises.
If all else fails then Mrs Beckham will have to consider foot surgery. There are many different procedures available but generally speaking the bunion joint is trimmed down, the large toe is cut into two sections and realigned. This is obviously putting it into very simplistic terms and the advances and surgical options have increased over the last decade. However, no surgical procedure is without its risks.
So in a nutshell, prevention is better than treatment and no matter how hot you think you look in heels, you dont want to be hobbling around with bunions by the time your forty!
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