Twisted Ankle – What Next?

First of all, you need a good clinical examination so that the Doctor can determine the kind of damage you may have to the ankle. Many people have been referred for a so called “common sprained ankle” and it was anything but that!

Ankle twist Fig.1
X-rays : Such a large gap (diastasis) between tibia and the ankle (talus) in forced valgus (moving the foot laterally underneath the leg) shows both anterior talofibular and calcaneofibular ligaments are fully torn.

Let me give you the example of a top football player, who used to work for a great Spanish club. He was out of the game for two months when he came to me, and after a few questions and a simple clinical examination, it was obvious it was not a common injury. The CT-scan that his Doctor asked for showed a tear and luxation of a fibular tendon.

This demonstrates that a clinical examination is mandatory!

Although the clinical practitioner may think the injury is a common case, standard X-rays are still important to rule out the possibility of a fracture.

If a fracture is diagnosed, it changes the course of treatment, and a cast is mandatory.

Ankle twist Fig.2
Drawing of the normal ligaments : above is anteroinferior tibio-fibular, intermediate is anterior talofibular and the one below, calcaneofibular ligament.

Torn ligaments require simple immobilisation for 6 weeks, and, along with physiotherapy you should make it back on the field or to your favourite sport as fast as possible without complication. Immobilisation helps to perfect the healing of the torn ligaments. These ligaments are talofibular and calcaneofibular. Physiotherapy will help you into rehabilitation of proprioception of your ankle and exercising your muscles.

Ankle twist Fig.3
On X-Rays, fracture of the anterior tubercule of the calcaneum. It looks obvious to you on this image. You can not imagine how often such a fracture is missed on X-rays!

If the clinician thinks it may be more complicated, we add sonography to X-rays. Sonography will show if more than the usual ligaments are torn. There is a ligament between fibula and tibia, the anterior inferior tibiofibular. It is located 1 cm above the ligaments usually torn (talofibular and calcaneofibular). In this case the Doctor will see that you feel the pain a little bit higher up than you would in a common case.

Ankle twist Fig.4
On sonography axial slice , full tear of the anteroinferior tibiofibular ligament.

If a tear of the anteroinferior tibiofibular ligament is discovered, it will change the way your ankle will be immobilized, not at 90° dorsiflexion, but at 45° so that the ligament is not stretched on and will heal fast.

Do the right thing at the right time! If you are worried about your initial diagnosis a second medical opinion could put your mind at ease and put you on the right treatment path.

 

Abnormal Mammogram Results: What’s Next?

You get your routine annual mammogram and, soon after, you receive a call or letter from your doctor’s office. If you’re called back for additional mammogram views or a biopsy, it doesn’t necessarily mean you have cancer. However, the following process can cause anxiety for some women.

You get your routine annual mammogram and, soon after, you receive a call or letter from your doctor’s office . If you’re called back for additional mammogram views or a biopsy, it doesn’t necessarily mean you have cancer. However, this process can cause anxiety for some women.

Talk to your Doctor

You should talk with the doctor who is interpreting your imaging tests. It’s important to make sure this doctor has the results of your mammograms from the past few years so he or she can compare them with your new mammograms. An abnormality, whether a mass or abnormal calcification, that hasn’t changed for a number of years may be more likely to be benign.

What does an Abnormal Mammogram Mean

If it is a new suspicious finding, you may be asked to undergo additional investigation or a short term follow-up for further evaluation. An abnormal mammogram result could mean a number of different results. According to the American Cancer Society, about 10% of women who have a mammogram will be called back for more tests, such as a diagnostic mammogram, for optimal views or an ultrasound or a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) examination. But only 8-10% of those women will need a biopsy, and 80% of those biopsies turn out be benign. Finally, most of them should return in a year for their routine mammogram.

If you need a Biopsy

If you need a biopsy or short term follow-up, it means you may have a high risk of malignancy (2-95%). If you need additional tests, invasive procedure or treatment, you should put your mind at ease first. You may need a second medical opinion from a breast surgeon or breast radiologist if the mammogram report is indecisive, or not issued by a breast subspecialty radiologist. There are other conditions for second opinion, such as discrepancy between imaging and clinical findings, the report not addressing the clinical concerns or distrust from the physician based on previous misdiagnoses.

“Many women feel anxious and uncertain while they’re getting follow-up exams and waiting for test results. Asking another breast specialist questions can help you feel calmer and more in control.”

Consider a second medical opinion for peace of mind

 

If you’ve have concerns regarding your mammogram screening, you can schedule a second opinion evaluation online with the specialist team of diagnose.me, to make sure the initial diagnosis is based on an expert review. It could change the decision you make regarding your treatment, and it is within your rights to do so before waiting 6 months for a follow-up appointment or any invasive procedure.

References:

  1. http://www.cancer.org/acs/groups/content/@research/documents/document/acspc-042725.pdf
  2. Rosenberg RD, Yankaskas BC, Abraham LA, et al. Performance benchmarks for screening mammography. Radiology. Oct 2006;241(1):55-66

5 Top Tips for Getting back into Exercise after Injury

Having an injury and being out of action can be frustrating, especially if you have set a fitness goal or you are a top athlete. Experts suggest that although much emphasis must be placed on making sure that you rest properly, being too sedentary can be damaging to the recovery process. You can still be active as long as you don’t stress the injury.

Getting in shape after an injury means making a physical and mental commitment to improving your health and becoming physically fit. To avoid straining or making your injuries worse, here are our top tips for getting back into exercise after injury.

#1 Get a second opinion

For patients with diagnosed musculoskeletal problems, such as serious cartilage or ligament damage or a slipped disc, choosing the wrong treatment pathway can significantly set back your health, fitness and even sporting career plans.

 

According to a recent survey, over a third (39%) of Britons would be likely to get a second opinion on musculoskeletal issues, such as muscle, bone or joint pain. One of the ways this can be done is by using an online service such as www.diagnose.me. This online platform connects patients seeking a second medical opinion with some of the world’s leading specialists. Customers upload their scan images (e.g. X-Ray, CT or MRI scans) to get an additional view on their diagnosis and treatment; including rehabilitation, and it takes just a few days.

#2 Start back slowly

Don’t jump straight back into things full pelt; leave some time for the injury to settle down, and don’t try to work out with the same intensity you did before your injury. You will need to rebuild your muscle strength and endurance, if you push too hard, too fast, you may injure yourself again.

#3 Go for a stroll

Gentle walks are a great start on the road back to fitness. Walking is one of the best ways to keep fit and is ideal for people of all ages and fitness levels. Try to build your walking regime gradually. To get the best health benefits from walking it needs to be a moderately intense aerobic activity. In other words, it needs to be faster than a stroll.

#4 Try yoga

To stay healthy, active and engaged in sports, runners and other endurance athletes need corrective modalities to amend muscular imbalances, prevent overuse injuries and ensure longevity. Yoga increases strength, flexibility, agility, balance and mental acuity, and can assist with recovery from high-intensity training.

 

#5 Swimming

Swimming is another kind of exercise that can be as gentle or as intense as you want it to be, and it’s a great addition to almost any workout routine. Unlike walking or running, there’s no repetitive joint impact, and the water provides a kind of cushion that limits sharp motions that could cause injury. This exercise is perfect for anyone with joint or musculoskeletal pain, regardless of their weight or age.

Preparing your child for a medical scan – Kids aren’t just small adults!

It is important that a pediatric imaging team encourage parental/carers involvement, always! So ask, insist, please! Why? Carers are the most important people in a child’s world, they need to be invited to be present.

Carers should be given a specific task or role during the medical scanning procedure, when appropriate, to be most effective. They can hold the child, comfort, or distract their child.

For a child facing their first CT or MRI scan, or for that matter any imaging exam, can feel like they are stepping into a strange world, with strange people, in a foreign environment dominated by the big, ugly machine that is the medical scanning device.

The imaging team will endeavour to reassure every paediatric patient and put them, and their carers, at ease as much as possible. However, as a parent it is not at all easy to see your child in distress.

As a parent you are in the best position to prepare your child for the medical scan, and to support them during the experience. To help you in this scenario, US pediatric Radiologist-in-Chief at Golisano Childrens Hospital and Diagnose.me specialist Johan Gerard Blickman gives their advice on how you can help your child through get through the medical scan and what you can expect at each stage of the procedure.

Before the scan

  • Being in a medical setting can be upsetting to a child. If your child is anxious about the scan you should discuss exactly what might happen in an open and honest manner prior to the appointment. Many imaging departments have folders describing pediatric imaging tests in colourful, cartoon-like terms. Ask for them.
  • You may want to practice lying still with your child for periods of 5 to 10 minutes at a time. This practice may help prevent your child from needing sedation medication. This technique is called ‘role modelling’ and if a child sees you practicing this, it will be easier.
  • Bring along a “comfort” item for your child for them to hold during the scan, such as a favourite soft toy or small blanket to keep them calm. Many medical imaging facilities will have some familiar toy items available, some you can even keep! iPads and tablets are becoming more and more popular for children to watch or play their favourite apps to calm their fears.
  • If sedation is required every aspect of the procedure will be explained to you to ensure the experience of the medical scan is as easy as possible.
  • Depending on what area of your child’s body is being scanned, there may be important instructions to follow before and on the day of your child’s scan. Make sure you read through all the documents from your doctor and ask for advice if you are at all unsure.

During the scan

  • The most important role of a parent or guardian during the test is to be there for the child and to help them stay calm and relaxed. It is important that your child remains still during the scan, reassuring them that they’re not in any danger will help them. Positive words ‘you are doing awesome’ and ‘you are lying soooo still’ do work!
  • Follow the instructions given by the doctor, nurse, or technologist. They will show you where to sit or stand during the scan.
  • Even though you may be physically separated from the technologist/doctor, they can and will constantly communicate with you through an intercom.

After the scan

  • If your child has not been sedated they will normally be able to go home straight after the scan. However, if your child has been administered with sedation medication, they will be taken to the recovery area after the exam. Most families are able to go home shortly after the exam.
  • The radiologist will evaluate the results and send a report to your child’s doctor, who will then arrange an appointment to discuss the results with you. The pediatric radiologist may or may not give you a preliminary result, but the final report usually takes 24-48 hrs.
  • If you are still concerned after your child’s diagnosis, you can seek a doctor second opinion. Diagnose.me is a specialist online health platform that connects patients seeking a second opinion with some of the world’s leading specialists including paediatric radiologists. This online service can find, confirm or correct a patient’s diagnosis and give you advice on the best treatment options. You will need a copy of your child’s medical scans (X-Ray, CT or MRI) to upload onto the site – you can easily request a copy of the scan from your hospital or doctor.

Top Tips to Cure Technophobia and Master Digital Health

Just as “seniors” are turning to digital tools for banking, shopping and entertainment, they’re increasingly using the internet to manage their health and well­being.

Getting these silver​ surfers more digitally connected, either personally or through caregivers, is expected to greatly enhance opportunities to protect the health and well­being of the over 65s in the UK.

According to recent research:

  • One in four (26%) of those aged over 65 say they would do online research before they visit their GP
  • 44% of over 65s would seek medical information online after their visit to the GP

However, some older people still struggle with technology, either because they don’t have access to a computer or are not confident. However, the benefits are huge and include:

  1. Learning more about health problems and how best to manage them.
  2. Becoming an informed and active participant in decisions about your health.
  3. Finding and facilitating access to medical specialists.
Erik Ranschaert
Erik Ranschaert, Chief Medical Officer at Diagnose.me

Diagnose.me expert and consultant radiologist, Erik Ranschaert, talks through how to take technology, and your health, in to your own hands and no longer be a ‘technophobe’:

Be vigilant.

It’s important to find a trustworthy source of medical or health information. Some sites may provide inaccurate or incomplete information which may be misleading and even endanger your health further. Make sure you are using credible and reputable websites such as NHS Choices​, charities and associations for specific conditions. You can also use online services such as Diagnose.me which offer direct online consultations with qualified medical professionals, verified and appointed by a Medical Advisory Board.

Safe and sound.

It is always possible that scam artists may prey on elderly users who are unsure of the internet. So, never give personal information or bank details to anyone you don’t fully trust. If you’re not sure, search for reviews to see what other customers have said.

Go back to school.

Contact your local library, community centre or Further Education College to see whether they offer computer training for older adults. Many have these courses and are free or offered at low cost.

Keep your doctor in the loop.

Whilst online advice can be very valuable, make sure your doctor is your first port of call if you have any issues or are displaying symptoms such as weight loss or chronic pain. If you’ve had a diagnosis and you’re still worried, consider getting a second medical opinion to​ help confirm or clarify the diagnosis and treatment. Diagnose.me can connect you with some of the world’s leading imaging specialists in a range of conditions.

Get a techno-learning-buddy.

If you’re still having problems, and there are no computer courses in your area, ask a family member or friend to show you. Watching someone else carry out a task online can be a quick and easy way to pick up new technology skills. With Diagnose.me a family member can upload the scans for you and support you every step of the way.

Silver surfers​ are catching the eHealth wave, do you consider yourself one of them? Let us know!

Older women are at a greater risk of developing breast cancer

According to the recent Public Health England survey of 731 women, only 48% of women over 70 could name a symptom of breast cancer other than a lump. This is alarming, considering that each year:

  • Over 50,000 women in England are diagnosed with breast cancer and 1 in 3 cases are women over 70
  • Breast cancer claims around 9,500 lives in Britain every year, half of which are women over the age of 70.

Breast cancer warning signs you shouldn’t ignore

Breast cancer doesn’t always show as a lump. If you have any of the symptoms below, notice any unusual changes to your breasts or have any doubts, go and see your GP immediately:

  • A lump or thickening in your breast or armpit
  • Change to the skin of your breast (such as dimpling of the breast surface or orange skin texture)
  • Changes in the shape or size of your breast
  • Nipple changes or discharge
  • Pain in your breast

Other, seemingly unrelated symptoms may include:

  • Vaginal pain
  • Unintentional weight loss
  • Enlarged lymph nodes in the armpit
  • Visible veins on the breast

How is breast cancer diagnosed?

In the UK, women aged 50-69 are screened every three years using an X-ray test called a mammogram. Women over 70 are also entitled to a free screening every three years, however need to ask for an appointment with the NHS breast screening service.

If the results, which are usually within two weeks, show any abnormalities or are inconclusive, you may have to have more tests including breast examination, more mammograms, ultrasound scan, MRI scan or a biopsy.

When to get a second opinion on cancer?

Up to 15% of breast cancer cases are only discovered following a second opinion. Dr. Erica Endo, MD, PhD., one of the breast cancer experts from Diagnose.me, comments:

Dr_Endo
Erica Endo, MD, PhD

“Early detection of breast cancer has a 90% to 98% long-term survival rate and survival longevity is increasing. That’s why it’s crucial to be diagnosed correctly and as soon as possible. Because interpretation of mammograms may be tricky, asking an experienced radiologist to consult your case increases the probability of early detection and survival.“

The accuracy in detecting breast cancer is questionable with approximately 1 in 5 patients being diagnosed incorrectly when based on mammogram results. There are a number of reasons for this, for example the images may not be of good enough quality, could be interpreted differently, or it may be because radiologists, like all humans, make mistakes.

If you have been diagnosed with invasive, or non-invasive breast cancer, a second medical opinion by a qualified radiologist, specialising in breast imaging, will reduce the risks of being misdiagnosed or receiving incorrect or unnecessary treatment.

Get a Second Medical Opinion Online

You are entitled to get a second medical opinion from your GP, however if you feel a little “shy” get online and get a second medical opinion from the comfort and privacy of your own home.

At Diagnose.me, you can select your own world-class oncology or breast imaging specialist, who will review your case and medical images in as little as 1-4 days. They will also make recommendations about your treatment that you can take back to your GP to discuss a treatment plan.

A second opinion from the online Diagnose.me has helped 15% of patients to avoid unnecessary treatment so it is well worth it.

Sounds good, but how can I obtain a copy of my mammogram scan?

In the UK, the NHS Breast Screening Programme will keep your scans for at least eight years. Under the Data Protection Act 1998, you have the right to access your clinical records or any personal information held about you. To obtain a copy of your own medical records and radiology images you can:

  • Ask your healthcare professional or GP directly
  • Contact the Health Records Department of your NHS Trust but you may be charged. Radiology images cost up to a maximum of £10, whilst health records can cost up to a £50.

If you have any doubts or concerns about the results or advice you have received, or you simply want to double check for peace of mind this online service is most definitely the answer.

Seizures and epilepsy in Childhood

It is a terrifying experience for family members who witness their loved ones, especially children, have an episode of seizures or further on, be diagnosed with epilepsy.

In many cases seizures that take place at home have not subsequently been picked up in hospitals by even the most sophisticated scanning. This can cause doctors or parents to believe they are imagining that their child has epilepsy. This is a frustrating situation for a parent to be in, and fortunately most doctors will now listen sympathetically to parents and treat them as a primary information source in helping to manage and correctly diagnose their children’s health.

What is a seizure?

Seizures occur when there is a short period of sudden surge of electrical activity from the brain, causing our body to act in a certain way. When someone has a tendency of recurrent seizures over a longer period of time, then it is called epilepsy.

seizures
MRI brain

This electrical activity may occur from one small area or the entire brain, this determines if the seizure will occur in one part of the body or be generalized. Although having a single episode of seizure does not mean there will have more seizures, it does however increase an individual’s chances of having more. Seizures are not rare in children, and they do not necessarily mean a dangerous pathology. However, a history of seizures in the family does makes it more likely for them to develop epilepsy.

Causes of Seizures in Children

There are many causes of seizures and epilepsy which vary from newborn to older age however, in many cases the cause of seizures may be unknown.

Common causes are:

  • Structural abnormalities in the developing brain,
  • Decreased levels of electrolytes in the blood,
  • Bleeding in the brain and
  • Low blood or oxygen supply to the brain in newborn and infants less than 1 year age There are also a number of causes which affect all age groups including: infections such as meningitis or encephalitis and stroke. Also, within the 60’s age group, brain atrophy and degenerative conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease can cause seizures.
  • Space occupying lesions can affect any age group, however in children specific lesions are more prone to causing seizures than other ages.

Diagnosis of Seizures

Diagnosis of seizures can be difficult, as the person having the seizure may not remember what has taken place. Within children they will rely on parents or loved ones to recount this for them and take action.

The doctor will perform a neurological examination including a test that measures the electrical activity of the brain called EEG. Imaging tests such as computerized tomography (CT)and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)may be required. In paediatrics MRI are preferred due to the absence of radiation exposure, however under 5 years of age MRI requires general anaesthesia. CT is the preferred option in acute settings.

Diagnosis from scanscan be open to interpretation and therefore could possible lead to a misdiagnosis. If you’ve visited a doctor and are having doubts, asecond medical opinioncan reduce the risk of a misdiagnosis by up to 90%. Diagnose.me can help.

Caring for your colon – what to look out for and what tests you might need

Have you noticed a change in your bowel habit or blood in your stools? 

It is important to be aware of the symptoms that should prompt further testing to check the colon. Tests will tell you why your symptoms have occurred and look for colon polyps or other growths, as well as a condition known as diverticular disease. This condition can cause lower abdominal pain and blood in the stools. Several countries have started screening programmes for colon cancer, however many people still get diagnosed with cancer outside of these programmes so awareness of the symptoms is important.

Some of the symptoms to look out for include:

  • a change in your usual bowel habit (going more or less often)
  • blood in the stools or on the toilet paper
  • mucus or slime mixed with the stools

Another reason to have a test is if your blood count is low because of a lack of iron (iron deficiency anaemia). In this case it is important to check if there is a polyp or growth in the colon bleeding slowly and causing the anaemia.

Figure 1
A 3D map of the colon generated during a CTC test – this is possible because of the air that is put in.

The two main types of test are:

1.  A camera test, optical colonoscopy (OC)

2.  A scan, CT colonogram (CTC)

Recent research has shown that a CTC is as good as an OC for diagnosing important growths in the colon, and also offers some advantages over OC. In a CTC scan, air is gently put into the bowel and a scan of the whole of the abdomen and pelvis is taken. The colon is then examined by the radiologist on the CT scan images.

Here are 5 important facts to know about CTC:

#1 Scan Preparation

The preparation for CTC is lighter and better tolerated by patients than the preparation for an OC. Many centres are now moving to a “minimal” or “light” preparation protocol, and some only use a type of medication called Gastrografin. This is an x-ray dye agent which mixes with the stool and “paints” it so it appears bright on the CT scan. Small pieces of stool can then be distinguished much more readily from polyps. Using this process means that your life isn’t disrupted as much, either on the day before or the day of the scan. An OC requires the bowel to be completely empty, so the preparation causes diarrhoea. This occurs far less with the Gastrografin preparation for a CTC.

#2 Comprehensive Scan

Figure 2
The arrows point to a polyp in the colon, seen outlined by some white fluid – this is Gastrografin which many centres are using as the only preparation for CTC.

As well as the bowel, a CTC can examine all of the other structures inside the abdomen – the organs such as the liver, kidneys and pancreas, the blood vessels, and the lymph nodes. This is important if you have pain as it could be coming from an abnormality in one of these other structures rather than the bowel – this can’t be assessed with an OC.

#3 Greater Patient Safety

It is a safe test to have – the rate of perforation or puncture of the bowel as a result of a CTC is 1 in 2500-5000 procedures, with only 1 in 12500 patients requiring surgery as a result.

#4 A Complete Picture

The whole of the colon can be assessed with a CTC, whereas with an OC sometimes the endoscope cannot be passed through narrowed areas in the colon, or the endoscope cannot reach the end of the colon because it is tortuous. In these cases, a CTC is requested as a second test.

#5 OC for Biopsy

Figure 3
A 3D image of a polyp generated from a CTC scan – the data from the scan can be processed by special software to generate a “virtual” colonoscopy picture that looks like an OC picture.

If a colon polyp or other growth is seen, then an OC would be necessary to take a biopsy as this is not possible with a CTC. However, the vast majority of patients do not need to go on to have an OC as a diagnosis can be provided with the CTC.

If you have any of these symptoms or are concerned about getting your colon checked, it is important to go and have a chat with your doctor first – a detailed history and examination will help you and your doctor to decide which tests you may need.

 

However, if you’re not completely happy with your initial diagnosis be aware that you can seek a second medical opinion? Diagnose.me is a specialist online health platform, which connects patients seeking a second opinion with some of the world’s leading specialists. They will find, confirm or correct a patient’s diagnosis from their X-Ray, CT, PET-CT, ultrasound or MRI scans.


References:

[1] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23414650

[2] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19626326

[3] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20959977

[4] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24816935

How to avoid unnecessary treatment

According to the recent comments by Sir Bruce Keogh, Medical Chief of NHS England:

  • 1 in 7 hospital procedures is not necessary
  • 15% of surgical and medical treatment should not have been carried out on patients
  • £1.8 billion a year is spent unnecessarily on medicines and operations

Sadly, these statistics are proving that “over-diagnosing” is not uncommon and patients are receiving unnecessary medical treatments on a daily basis. How can you avoid needless operations or surgery, which can put your life in danger?

7 key things to find out before any operation

  1. Read the guidelines for your condition
  2. Ask your surgeon about the complication rates and risks of the treatment
  3. What are the risks if you choose not to undergo treatment
  4. How long will the benefits of the operation last and how long will it take to recover from the surgery?
  5. How many procedures like yours does the surgeon carry out in a year?
  6. Google your surgeon and the anaesthesiologist (if appropriate) and research how many years of experience have and if they are considered to be experts in their field
  7. Ask another specialist for a doctor second opinion

Get a second medical opinion

A wrong diagnosis, or a lack of one, can ruin lives so ask yourself if:

If you are due to undergo a medical procedure, getting a second opinion will help you decide what’s best for you. Diagnose.me connects patients with a network of over 150 highly specialised experts (radiologists) in the fields of oncology, neurology, cardiology, musculoskeletal, abdominal and paediatric health. Since its global launch, second opinion from the service has helped 15% of patients avoid unnecessary treatment.

How does the service work?

Based on your medical images (your X-ray, CT-scan, MRI-scan, PET-CT scan or other imaging results), your chosen specialist will provide you with a detailed independent report on your medical condition, all within 1-4 days. If you have any questions, you can follow them up directly with the consultant via an online consultation.

Act now and you may avoid an unnecessary intervention.

Are High Heels Bad For Your Health?

That feeling of relief, taking off your beloved heels after a long day of tottering in them! It can only be compared to taking off your ski boots after a day of conquering difficult ski runs. But, is the pain worth it? Are high heels good or bad for you? Can high heels really cause health problems?

Heels make us feel good about ourselves, sexy. Victoria Beckham has famously been quoted to say, that she can’t concentrate in flats. High heels make our legs look longer and a pair of stilettos transforms any outfit in seconds. But wearing heels on a daily basis can have a serious impact on your Health.

Here are 4 reasons why you should think twice about wearing high heels on a daily basis:

1. High heels and back pain

Have you noticed that your back hurts after wearing your favourite stilettos? According to the Spinal Health Institute, when you wear heels, your body fights to maintain balance. In perfect posture (think of Pilates), your spine is straight, shoulders are down, your calf muscles are relaxed and the weight is evenly distributed between all toes. On the contrary, when you wear heels, your body tries to compensate for the loss of balance as the heels shift the body weight forwards. You end up pushing your chest and your lower back forward, misaligning your hips and spine. Your knees, calves, heels and toes suffer too; trying to cope with the excess pressure. End result? Increased risk of:

  • Slippage of a vertebra (causing a chronic back pain)
  • Foraminal stenosis, a spinal nerve condition causing shooting pain, numbness and muscle weakness in the lower back (one of the causes of sciatica)

2. High heels and bunions

If you have noticed that you have a swollen big toe, persistent pain in your big toe joint, have difficulty walking or find your shoes do not suddenly fit properly you may be developing a bunion. A painful bony lump on the side of your foot. Bunions are often caused by wearing narrow, high shoes which push your toes into an unnatural position. Using comfy wide shoes with inserts and padding may help relieve the symptoms. Alternatively, you may need a surgery to help you realign your big toe. If you suffer from bunions, avoid high heels altogether!

3. High heels and leg and knee pain

High heels can cause shortening and overworking of muscle fibres around your ankle, causing pain in the Achilles tendon and increased risk of sprains and strains. Your kneecap is under lots of pressure too, and the continuous strain might result in developing knee osteoarthritis, causing your knee to become painful and stiff. High heels also contribute to injuries, especially after a drink or two, including sprained ankles or broken bones. However, ladies with insertional achilles tendinosis have a good reason to wear at least heel lifts to look a bit sexier. It has been proven that heel lifts might be helpful for patients with insertional achilles tendinosis because the heel moves away from the back of the shoes can reduces the impingement of the heel against the shoe. In addition, heel lifts takes some strain off the achilles tendon and is therefore recommended.

4. High heels and feet problems

Most heels, especially the fashionable pointed ones, force your foot to slide forward. To compensate, you have to bend and squash your toes, resulting in damaged nerves or fibrotic tissue in your feet. Blisters, calluses and even ingrown nails are not uncommon either, not to mention painful, slow to heal ulcers, which can develop at the ball of the foot. Ouch!

Do I have to give up high heels altogether?

Well, that’s up to you, but the medical experts agree that:

  • Wearing thicker, shorter heels (wedges) is better for you, with the heel height of up to two inches
  • If you wear high heels, wear them for a short period of time, preferably when you have a chance to sit down
  • Swap your shoes on a daily basis
  • Invest in a good pair of comfortable, wider shoes to give your feet a break

Get a second opinion

If you are worried about suffering from bunions, joint issues or any other symptoms mentioned above, consult one of our 25 leading musculoskeletal medical imaging experts around the world for a second medical opinion. Our experts can review your X-ray, CT or MRI scan or PET-CT scan and provide you with an online consultation, a detailed report and follow up communication within 1-4 days.


 

Related articles:

Relieve Your Back Pain, By Dr. Christopher C. Hancock

Causes of Knee Pain in the Athletic Youth, By Dr. Daniel Saurborn

What Should Be Done? Bad Sprain of Your Knee, By Dr. Laurence Bellaiche