SAN DIEGO, CA (NBC) - Bettina Celifie is known for the click of her high heels.
"I really love wearing high heel shoes," she says. "There are times when you feel sleeker, there are times when they empower you."
For many women the emotional feeling is a good one, but the physical pain that often comes with cramming your foot into the perfect pump can be a sign of lasting consequences.
Foot and ankle specialist Dr. Eric Horton says stylish high-heels can lead to instability and deformity, causing conditions like hammertoes, constricted nerves and bunions that may need corrective surgery.
"If our foot is forced to be in a certain confined posture for a long period of time, eventually it's going to overload the soft tissues and the joints causing them to misalign," Dr. Horton explains.
The uneven pressure is also a problem. Dr. Horton says you should try to avoid heels over two inches and try to keep from wearing heels for more than four hours.
Dr. Horton recommends re-measuring your foot to make sure you're wearing the correct size and buying shoes slightly larger than your measured forefoot because feet swell during the day.
If you just can't give up the heels, look for flexible soles, wear open toe shoes that give your foot more room and on strappy heels make sure the straps are thick enough to keep your foot snug.