Brandt R Gibson, DPM
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Podiatrist, Neuropathy Doctor, Father of 11 and Founder of Mountain West Foot & Ankle Institute

Did you rock those high heels to all your holiday parties, and now your feet are sore and tired? Are you starting to notice physical changes as well, like redness, swelling or even shifts in the width of your foot or the placement of your toes? If your shoes feel more like weapons, you could be causing yourself permanent foot damage!

If so, you aren't alone! As it turns out, cases of  Morton's Neuroma have increased by over 115% in the last 10 years, according to a study released by researchers at Bradford Teaching Hospitals in the UK. Morton’s Neuroma is a condition that occurs when a specific nerve in your foot becomes irritated and compressed by the growth of fibrous tissue in the foot; the pain is usually experienced in the ball of your foot and/or at the base of your toes.

Named for the individual who discovered the problem, the neuroma is thought to be brought on by wearing tight-fitting or high-heeled shoes, since, over time, the footwear pushes the foot bone. 

In this study of how to treat the pain of neuromas, researchers discovered the sharp rise in women ages 40-69 seeking treatment in the UK: Over 2500 in 2014-15, compared to just over 1100 in 2004-5. Current treatment options range from using insoles to decompressing or even removing the nerve with surgery (this option leaves you with permanent numbness between your toes.)

I really hope these findings will be a wake-up call for my readers. Too many women are risking terrible pain, surgery and potential loss of feeling in your feet (which is really dangerous, since it can mask other foot problems like peripheral neuropathy.)

It’s just not worth it, ladies. Keep those fabulous stilettos for special occasions, choose supportive shoes for the majority of your walks and excursions and, at the first sign of foot pain, come see Dr. Brandt Gibson so we can treat the problem before invasive procedures become a necessity.

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