Catherine de Medici is generally credited, or some might say blamed, for wearing the first pair of high heel shoes when she became engaged to the Duke of Orleans in 1533 because she felt self-conscious about her diminutive stature. High heels eventually became a sign of higher social status and wealth, and today high heels are available in a wide selection of shapes, styles and heights. Unfortunately, high heels — those shoes with a heel two inches or higher — are one of the leading reasons why women have foot problems. 

Wearing high heels for an extended period of time can make the toes bend into an unnatural position and redistribute weight incorrectly. As a result, women could experience a number of different ailments, including ingrown toenails, nerve damage and bunions. High heels also may contribute to osteoarthritis in the knee, plantar fasciitis, sciatica, shortened calf and back muscles that can cause muscle spasms, and an overarched back that puts strain on the knees, hips and lower back.

But don’t worry — you can still make a fashion statement in heels as long as you follow a few easy tips. Choose shoes with lower heels — an inch and a half or less — that have a wide heel base. Make sure shoes are the correct size and select ones with soft insoles that can reduce the impact on your knees. If you’re going to slip on a pair of heels, wear them on days when you don’t have to stand or walk as much, and switch them out with athletic or walking shoes when commuting to and from work.

To learn more about how to take care of your feet, take the quick, online foot health quiz on the Doctors Hospital at White Rock Lake website at

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Doctors Hospital at White Rock Lake

9400 Poppy Drive
Dallas, TX 75218


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