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New research blames high heels for the spike in Morton’s neuroma

New research has found that wearing high heels over many years has caused cases of Morton’s neuroma to more than double in the past 10 years.

As women have gained more recognition, especially in the business world, wearing high heels can be used as a way to assert a woman’s sexuality or power. However, this fashion statement is making a whole different statement on the wearer’s feet, and a painful one at that.

Recently, high heels were blamed for a spike in cases of Morton’s neuroma in women. In fact, over the past 10 years, the amount of people suffering from the condition described as having the feeling of “walking on razor blades” has more than doubled and affects four times as many women as men.

Morton’s neuroma, as defined by Mayo Clinic, is, “a painful condition that affects the ball of your foot, most commonly the area between your third and fourth toes… This can cause a sharp, burning pain in the ball of your foot. Your toes also may sting, burn or feel numb.”

National Health Services and others make the connection between the usage of high heels and Morton’s neuroma. The biggest group of those who suffer from the condition are women between the ages of 40 and 69, since it is caused by years of wearing high heeled shoes.

The NHS warns that heels taller than five centimeters are the most problematic.

The Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh’s audit symposium found research that explained how the number of women aged between 40 and 69 admitted to a hospital for treatment of Morton’s neuroma has risen by 115 percent in the past 10 years. Surgery was required for more than half of the patients.

Andrew Craig, and orthopedic research fellow at Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, conducted extensive research on the condition and explored how different treatments for the condition, like insoles or steroid injections, work. Craig also said that attempting to decrease the condition can, “only be a good thing, not least because numbness in the foot could be a sign of other, potentially life-altering conditions, such as diabetes.”

So even though younger women see wearing high heels as a source of power or beauty, it definitely doesn’t keep their feet in a position of strength, which could lead to greater problems down the road.

Photo: Getty