Wearing high heels can cause Morton's neuroma

Tuesday 23rd June 2015 12:16 EDT

Doctors have blamed high heels for the growth in the number of women suffering from, Morton's neuroma, a condition that causes excruciating foot pain.

The condition affects the nerve that runs between the toes. Fibrous tissue develops around the nerve and it becomes cramped, which causes pain between the toes. The pain has been described as “walking on razor blades”. NHS has warned that high-heeled shoes over 5cm can be particularly troublesome.

The number of people suffering from Morton's neuroma has doubled in the past ten years. It is said that four times as many women as men were admitted to hospital with the condition in 2014. The largest group of sufferers were women aged between 40 and 69.

Research revealed that more than half of the patients required surgery to ease their symptoms. In 2004- 2005, 1,179 women between 40 and 69 were admitted to hospital for treatment of the condition. It increased by 115% in 2014- 2015, with a total of 2,532.

Andrew Craig, orthopaedic research fellow at Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, who presented research into treatment for the condition, expressed, “We have known for a long time that the condition seems to predominantly affect females of a middling age, with speculation that high heels and other such tightly fitting and unnatural footwear — despite looking fabulous, I’m sure — may play a role.”

Craig further stated, “Increasing awareness of Morton’s neuroma 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.”

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