-- Randy Dotinga
SATURDAY, May 7 (HealthDay News) -- Many women wear high heels
because they like the way they look, but these shoes can cause foot
problems such as hammertoe, a condition in which the toes painfully
bend in on each other, experts warn.
Dr. Tzvi Bar-David, a podiatrist at New York-Presbyterian
Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center, has some advice for
women on how to keep their feet comfortable without sacrificing
"To prevent hammertoe, it's not necessary to give up on wearing heels entirely, but women should limit the amount of time they spend wearing them," Bar-David said in a hospital news release. "I recommend wearing comfortable shoes for your commute or when you're on your way to a party. Change into your heels when you get there."
When shopping for shoes, look for styles with plenty of room for
the toes, a uniform lift (rather than one that's narrow and spiked)
and strong arch support. "Don't force yourself into a bad shoe,"
Bar-David said. "When buying new shoes, try them on for 10 to 15
minutes. Even better, see if you can wear them home and return them
later if they aren't a good fit," he added.
If hammertoe develops, there are pads and gel protectors to help
treat the condition, but it is a good idea to see a doctor to make
sure surgery isn't necessary and to determine whether a condition
such as arthritis or diabetes is involved. "In particular, people
with diabetes have to be extra careful with hammertoe because the
condition can cause infections and other problems," Bar-David
If surgery is needed to realign the bones, recovery may take a
couple of weeks. But Bar-David said the modern procedure leads to
fewer infections and a quicker recovery time.
The University of Maryland Medical Center has more about
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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