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Dr. Roderick Hunter, a prominent African American podiatrist and APMA spokesperson, suggests some simple ways black women can avoid high-heel pain and injuries.

  • When it comes to shoes, high heels are the #1 culprit of foot pain.
  • Most women who own heels say these shoes hurt their feet.
  • But that doesn’t stop them from buying them – the average woman who owns high heels owns 9 pairs!
  • And they are pretty liberal when it comes to height – almost half say they will wear 3 inch heels or higher.
  • According to a recent survey by American Podiatric Medical Association:

Ø  77% of U.S adults experience foot problems

Ø  27% of U.S adults said they had heel pain/plantar fasciitis

Ø  51% of U.S adults said their activities were restricted by foot pain

Ø  57% of U.S adults said that foot pain restricted their walking

Ø  44% of U.S adults said that foot pain restricted them from exercising

  • Foot pain is not normal and will not go away on its own. If foot pain is preventing you from staying active, it is imperative that you make an appointment with an APMA member podiatrist. Podiatrists are the most qualified in treating foot and ankle pain.
  • Heel pain is also caused by wearing poorly constructed footwear, such as flimsy flip flops, or by being overweight.
  • A variety of steps can be taken to avoid heel pain and accompanying afflictions:

Ø  Wear shoes that fit well—front, back, and sides—and have shock-absorbent soles, rigid shanks, and supportive heel counters.

Ø  Wear the proper shoes for each activity. Sneakers made for tennis players will provide different support and traction than cleats made for football players.

Ø  Do not wear shoes with excessive wear on heels or soles.

  • If you feel like you overdid it, there’s one word to keep in mind, RICE!

Ø  R- Rest. If you notice your feet are begging for a rest, it’s because they are! Try getting off of your feet for a while.

Ø  I- Ice. It’s time to ice that injury! Apply an ice pack to the affected area for 20 minutes every 3-4 hours for the first 48 hours.

Ø  C- Compression. If you have a mild injury, wrapping an elastic bandage around your foot or ankle can help. If you’re using it for more than 48 hours- call a podiatrist.

Ø  E- Elevate. This one is great for swelling. Try elevating your foot higher than your heart. This decreases swelling and promotes healing!


Is there a non-surgical remedy for a hammer toe?

There are nonsurgical remedies for hammertoe deformity however you must realize that the hammertoe deformity is mechanical and the nonsurgical remedies are just temporizing agents. To effectively get rid of the hammertoe, surgery would be required.

Can flat feet be repaired?

Yes. Flat feet can be repaired. Depending on the pathology of the flatfoot, it may be necessary to fuse several of the joints in order to surgically create an arch and the foot. The issue with that is that flatfoot recovery can take anywhere from 6 to 12 months. This includes postoperative recovery and then physical therapy.

Some woman can’t take off their shoes due to foot order so can the doctor recommend a something for that Yes there are several products on the market to deal with foot odor. For my patients that have extensive foot over, first of all I recommend Lysol to disinfect their shoes to be used daily. As far as for the feet, it needs to be evaluated as to whether or not the foot odors coming from a bacterial infection or a fungal infection. There are several topical powders and sprays on the market that can be used.

What about the effect of heels on the woman’s internal especially reproductive organs?

I have not read any articles that compare the effects of high heels on a woman’s reproductive organs however, if I had to hypothesize, I would say that since the hips & pelvis can be affected from the use of high hills that there may be some relevance to a woman’s internal organs.

Can a knot on the back of your feel be fixed without surgery?

Yes. An examination would need to be done to figure out the cause of the knot on your back. If it is from a muscle, physical therapy can be used as a nonsurgical method. If the knot is caused by a cyst or a nodule, surgery may be indicated to remove it.

What can I do for rough heels on my feet?

There are several products on the market that can be used to treat rough heels. I typically prescribe my patients urea cream to help soften up the callous tissue on the heels. You would need to see your physician for a prescription.

What problems can develop for little girls who wear heels and what age can they start and how high?

The problems that can develop with little girls wearing high heels is that their bones are not fully formed yet and since their bones are susceptible to pressure, deformities can occur. I would typically recommend girls wearing high heels at the age of 16, and no more than a 3 inch heel.

I have a pair of retro Fila KJ7’S, Kevin Johnson’s, brand new, size 13 and they are snug in the toe. Can’t find a 13.5 or 14. How can I stretch them?

You can stretch the shoes by putting in a larger- sized shoe post in the shoe and letting it sit for a week or two. However, I don’t know how much stretcher actually going to get. I would recommend a 13.5 shoe post.

Is surgery the only option for calluses that can’t be removed by standard pedicures?

No surgery is not the only option to remove calluses. There are creams that are specifically designed to help soften the callous tissue in order so that it can be easily removed. If these do not work, then surgery may be indicated. Remember calluses are formed by areas of pressure, so if a bone is pressing against the skin and causing the callous, surgery may be indicated to shave down the bone.

I have a plantar wart that I cannot get rid of. I’ve soaked and used removers. Any other suggestions?

I would recommend that you go to your local physician and have the wart excised.

What’s a good over the counter medicine for toenail fungus?

There are different good over-the-counter antifungal medications. The active ingredient in most of them is the same. The only suggestion I would make is that you get one that is oil-based, and not water-based.

Have you ever heard of b12 deficiency being the cause of some toe nails turning brown? What is the best foot moisturizer?

Yes. B-12 deficiency can cause changes in the toenails. With restoration of B12 levels, toenails will over time gradually change to a normal appearance. As far as foot moisturizers ago, I typically recommend something that has vitamin D & aloe in it.

For a person with flat feet, can wearing the wrong shoes or boots cause permanent damage to your feet?

Yes. Over time wearing the wrong shoe within unsupportive arch can expedite the arthritic changes in the foot.

Is it good to soak your feet In warm water and Epsom salt…… To help relax?


Is it safe for diabetics to get pedicures?

Yes. It is safe for diabetics to get pedicures, however I recommend that they go to a place that has been accredited by the American diabetes Association. You can check this information online.

I am an office worker in a warehouse and am required to wear steel toe shoes whenever I am on the warehouse floor. I’ve been there 7 years and I notice that I’m not comfortable in even a moderate 2 inch heel. Do the steel toe shoes contribute to this uncomfortableness?

Yes. Steel toed shoes contribute to the foot being rigid & in a fixed position. Unfortunately, if your job calls for steel toed shoes, the only thing I can recommend is going to see a pedorthist can recommend inserts for your shoes and for your 2 inch heels.

How does one treat plantar fasciitis ?

Plantar fasciitis can be treated in a multitude of ways both surgically and not surgically. Initially I like to do a compounding cream, inserts, and injection therapy. If those fail, I might try physical therapy. A physical therapy fails, then surgical intervention is indicated.

What type of shoe is good to wear for flat feet?

I typically recommend a good supportive shoe that offers minimal bend in the forefoot. Also I would recommend a good insert to help create an arch in the shoe.

How often should you get pedicures?

I would recommend getting pedicures no more than two times per month. The micro, they can occur around the nail cuticles can be permanent if they are not cared for correctly.

What can I do for my foot pain? It hurts even when I’m laying down.

It sounds to me like you may have plantar fasciitis, I would recommend taking an oral anti-inflammatory, such as Motrin or Aleve. If that does not work for you I would recommend that you go see a podiatrist to get evaluated.

I have a nail infected with a fungus and severe eczema on one of my feet since I was a kid. My parents never treated this. Are there any otc medicines I could use to treat this or should I just visit a doctor?

I would recommend that you go visit a podiatrist for evaluation and treatment for the nail fungus and eczema. There are over-the-counter remedies, but if you’ve had this since you were a child it is probably best to get something that his prescription.

I have what appears to be the start of a bunion on my foot. Is there something I can do at home- stretches/exercises to correct it or should I seek medical attention?

There are all kinds of conservative treatment options for bunion deformity on the market. You could get a bunion splint, or bunion pads that can help. However, remember the bunion is a bony deformity and surgical intervention is the only way you were going to cure it.

Is planter fasciitis avoidable? Is reflexology beneficial?

Plantar fasciitis can be avoidable, depending on the preventative measures you take. Typically a good shoe with a good insert helps. Stretching of the Achilles tendon complex is beneficial as well. Admittedly I don’t know much about reflexology however I have heard that it can be beneficial for plantar fasciitis.