A bunion-free Posh was honored at the British Fashion Awards

Victoria Beckham was given the designer brand award on Nov. 28 at the British Fashion Awards. The former pop star no doubt enjoyed being in the limelight for something other than having a hot husband, giving birth or being accused of having bunion surgery. So this time around, it was Posh's time to shine as she tearfully thanked her supportive loved ones.

"I am so nervous. This means so much to me. I am overwhelmed," Beckham said backstage, quoted by the Daily Mail. "I was really trying to keep it together in the speech without bursting out crying"

I know you're probably wondering what the ever-fashionable Vicky wore. She donned an all-black ensemble, but looked more elegant than gothic. The dress was a backless halter with a draped, loose-fitting top and a pleated column-like bottom that just barely hid a pair of black stiletto Christian Louboutins. Oh, Becks, you may have had to get those nasty bunions cut from your feet, but you sure do clean up nicely.

But Posh wasn't the only one to take home an award that night.

Stella McCartney was honored for creating some of the most memorable red carpet ensembles. She wore a patterned jumpsuit with peep-toe shoes and styled her straight hair simple by parting it down the middle.

Sarah Burton, the Alexander McQueen designer who crafted Kate Middleton's wedding gown, was given the designer of the year award. She, too, went all-black, with an asymmetrical gown and black platform stilettos.

Accessory designer Charlotte Olympia won the award for her category, and her ensemble certainly showed off her flair for bags, shoes and jewelry. Donning a simple black sequined off-the-shoulder number, Olympia made the look her own, wearing sheer red stockings, gold and red patterned platforms and a scarlet rectangle-shaped clutch.

The Telegraph paid special attention to a pair of pumps designed by Olympia and worn by Samantha Cameron, the wife of Prime Minister David Cameron. The shoes were cherry red satin and simple from the front, but featured a sea shell design fanned out over the back.

There was nary a flat shoe in sight, which means that some of these ladies may have had aching bunions at the end of the event. If they want to avoid the painful bunion surgery that Beckham endured, they may want to consider bunion splints or orthotics to help correct bony deformities.
 

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UK county says to just deal with your bunions

Oh, how I love the Brits. They are such an accepting, no-nonsense bunch. Crooked teeth? No need for braces, a snaggletooth adds character! Royal scandal? That's just good entertainment! Bunions? You don't need lousy bunion surgery!

That last part was made official by Oxfordshire County National Health Service (NHS) chiefs this year, according to the Oxford Mail. The news source reports that representatives from the organization say that bunions are typically nothing more than a cosmetic issue, and that the NHS will not pay for bunion surgeries unless the bony deformity is severe and causes functional impairment of the foot.

Apparently, you need to be in significant pain or have a stiff toe, an infection, a swollen joint or blood clots in order for the NHS to take pity on you and pay for bunion surgery, according to the Oxford Mail.

"The policy sets a threshold for surgery so that those who really need it and will benefit the most will still get it," said NHS spokesperson Ruth Atkins, quoted by the news source. "Bunions usually get worse over time, so a bunion that is left untreated is likely to get bigger and become more painful."

You said it, sister. Not to mention that an operation to correct the deformity can be quite costly. The article reports that between spring 2009 and 2011, the NHS paid the equivalent of $102,539 for 39 bunion surgeries in the county.

According to an article in USA Today, the going rate for bunion surgery in America is about $3,500 to $4,000. Moreover, your health insurance is not guaranteed to cover the cost of the operation.

It may be best to just save that cash for a new pair of Christian Louboutins, because the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons reports that most bunions can be corrected or treated in minimally invasive ways. Moreover, bunion surgery comes with risks of infection, over-correction, recurrence, pain and joint stiffness.

You can help soothe your bunion pain at the end of a long day trekking around in heels by icing the protrusion and taking an ibuprofen or aspirin. Additionally, I swear by my Bunion Aid splint, which has a hinged design that allows me to move around while correcting my bunions.
 

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Jessica Simpson is just asking for bunions

Pop singer Jessica Simpson has been hobbling around town wearing sky-high Yves Saint Laurent heels while pregnant with her football player fiance Eric Johnson's baby. Sure, Jess may look like one hot mama, but she's really tempting fate on the bunion front with her shoe habits.

Simpson recently told US Weekly that she plans to give birth in pumps.

"I'm probably going to deliver my baby in these [four-inch YSL heels]," she said, quoted by the news source. "I went to the doctor yesterday and he said, 'You're gonna need to get out of those heels!' I was like, 'Excuse me! I'll be delivering in these heels!"

On top of the fact that heels would never fit into the foot stirrups on the delivery table, wearing heels while pregnant is just a bad idea. According to WhatToExpect.com, pregnant women have a hormone in their bodies called relaxin, which softens the joints, ligaments and muscles in preparation for childbirth. While its main purpose is to make the pelvis flexible enough to have a small watermelon passed through it, the hormone affects other parts of the body as well.

This means that connective foot tissue is weaker than usual. Add to this the extra weight of a fetus, amniotic fluid and the placenta, and you've got a lot of stressors on the feet. So, you might be thinking that you'd need to be as dumb as a blonde to wear four-inch heels while expecting, right? Well, yes, you are right. This is Jessica Simpson we're talking about.

But the singer isn't the only celebrity to be caught wearing heels while pregnant. Beyonce was recently spotted in some ridiculously high wedge heels, and you know that Victoria's Secret model Miranda Kerr wasn't going without added height during her pregnancy. Penelope Cruz also wore heels before giving birth to her baby with hunky Javier Bardem, and former model Penny Lancaster was spotted towering over hubby Rod Stewart on the red carpet while pregnant.

While we're on the topic, can we talk about the mysterious pregnancy of stylist Rachel Zoe? The woman barely showed a bump. I don't know whether I should be jealous or start rumors of a fake pregnancy. For now, I'll suppress my catty urges.

At any rate, ladies who just can't keep their heels off for nine months may want to consider using bunion splints or orthotics in order to keep bunions at bay, and to save themselves from the dreaded bunion surgery.
 

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Kristen Stewart must know about the bunion risk associated with heels

Lately, I've been thinking that Kristen Stewart is a lot like the honey badger. She just doesn't care. The Twilight actress changed from a sleek pair of black peep-toed platform pumps at the recent Breaking Dawn UK premiere into a pair of beat up old Nikes.

Maybe this is less about her being careless when it comes to her fashion reputation and more about the young actress trying to avoid developing or exacerbating bunions. I must say, her black, intricate, sparkly gown looked rather awkward paired with her old sneakers, but loads more comfortable than those towering pumps.

This is not the first time K. Stew (as the kids are calling her) has pulled the ol' switcheroo. She changed into the same pair at an earlier Los Angeles premiere while wearing a sequined violet gown with a thigh-high slit.

Could it be that our own Bella Swan already has bunions? The deformity is considered to be related to age, but is known to develop in people in their early teens, especially in those who play sports or dance. If Stewart is experiencing bunions at her age, she can help stop the progression of the bony deformities by using bunion splints or orthotics now, before they hinder her ability to gallivant around town with that sexy British boyfriend of her, Robert Pattinson.

It looks as though many kids and 20-somethings today are following in her fashion footsteps. Gone are the days of pearls, cardigans and A-line skirts, according to a recent NPR article on the proliferation of hipster culture in the U.S. Much like Stewart, these kids just do not care and will certainly not be hobbling around in uncomfortable pumps.

"Hipster culture is omnipresent," says Peter Furia, a founder of Seedwell Digital Creative Studio in San Francisco, quoted by the news source. "It dominates fashion, music and lifestyle. It crosses borders of ethnicity, socio-economic status and sexual preference – something that we haven't seen since the boom of hip-hop culture."

Hmm. Well, maybe when my bunions get to the point of impaired mobility, I'll just throw on a pair of high-top sneakers, some big headphones and blend with the rest of this comfort-conscious crew.
 

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Bunion splints may prepare you for holiday parties

It's that time of year, ladies. Holiday office party season is upon us, a time when we share libations with co-workers in hopes that it will bring us closer together and help us see one another as people, rather than sources of annoyance and extra burdens at work. Maybe you'll have one too many free Cosmos from the open bar and make out with someone from the sales department, or perhaps you'll end up in a less-than-sober cry-fest with a former nemesis.

Whatever happens, you'll want to look your best, at least until everyone is too drunk to notice that you've kicked your shoes off and exposed your bunions.

One trend that I've been in love with for winter formal events is the tuxedo jacket with a pair of tailored, polished shorts. For those of us lucky enough to live in warmer climates, this ensemble allows us to show off your legs while still looking classy and put-together in a fun way. If you live north of the Mason-Dixon Line, pair this outfit with some opaque tights, whether they be plain black or a vibrant jewel tone. Whatever you do, avoid flats with this look, no matter how much your bunions are killing you. When we're talking about menswear-inspired ensembles, towering heels are a must in order to maintain femininity.

For me, nothing says holiday festivities quite like sequins and sparkle. Gold, silver, black, red, blue – they're all good in my book. A dress that is fully adorned in these sparkly flecks is an eye-catcher, ensuring that you will stand out in all of those crowded photographs that are sure to be snapped. Fashion website Polyvore has compiled all of its favorite sparkly high heels available this season, including some towering gold-flecked platform wedges by Michael Antonio Anderson and some rose-colored peep-toes with a rhinestone broach by Badgley Mischka.

Red or white ensembles are always holiday classics. However, you should avoid pairing the two shades to keep from looking like a sexy Santa Claus, unless that's what you're going for. A scarlet or cream-colored shift dress is simple and appropriate, and leaves you plenty of room to get creative with your shoes!

You have a few weeks to prepare for the festivities, so you may want to consider using bunion splints or orthotics in the meantime. After all, kicking off those towering pumps is inevitable and you don't want to turn off that cute sales guy.
 

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Lady Gaga and Barneys team up to give the gift of bunions this Christmas

There are few things I enjoy more than seeing what that kook Lady Gaga will come up with next in the fashion department. So, you can imagine my elation when I found out that this year's Christmas theme at Barneys New York will revolve around my favorite pop star and her eccentric style.

Women's Wear Daily recently reported that the upscale department store will be decked out with displays featuring Gaga as the queen of a unicorn-filled universe, as well as images of the singer as a giant spider. (Just think, if the Lady were really an arachnid, what kind of shoes would she wear? Oh, the possibilities!)

Among the items that will be available at the Gaga Workshop are lollipops shaped like a disco stick (I guess we're supposed to use our imaginations, here), "Poker Face" chips made out of chocolate, press-on nails, chocolate skulls, dramatic hair bows, Gaga-inspired snow globes and last, but certainly not least, a pair of $4,100 shoes. Let's be honest here, if you're going to splurge like that on a pair of towering shoes, you may as well throw in a bunion splint and some orthotics while you're at it. You or the gift-recipient will need them.

Additionally, Gaga and the Barneys team appear to have designed a Christmas stocking perfect for yours truly. How I would love to wake up on Dec. 25 to find a black patent leather stocking shaped like a stiletto boot filled with all of my favorite goodies: a new Bunion Aid, some fresh orthotics and a bottle of Ketel One to make a fresh batch of holiday Cosmopolitans.

Perhaps the best part is that you can feel good about shelling out on these Gaga-centric items, since 25 percent of the proceeds will go to the singer's Born This Way Foundation. The organization works toward empowering youth and building equality.

"My mother and I have initiated a passion project," Gaga said in the statement. "Together we hope to establish a standard of bravery and kindness, as well as a community worldwide that protects and nurtures others in the face of bullying and abandonment."

Visitors to the Barneys flagship store will get to see the displays unveiled in all of their Gaga glory on Nov. 21. Now, people can get a sneak peek by visiting gagasworkshop.com.
 

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Winter presents special challenges for the bunioned

As if bone-chilling winds and slippery sidewalks weren't enough, winter can present some major issues for those of us lucky enough to have bunions.

Research has suggested that exercise can ease joint pain, but a new study from the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine reveals that there are far fewer opportunities to get out and get moving in the winter.

"There's more than a three-hour difference in the amount of completely sedentary time each day, where people are just sitting around doing nothing, during the months with less daylight, such as November, versus June," said Joe Feinglass, a research professor of medicine

Well, no duh, Mr. Scientist. You mean to tell me that ice and snow keep people indoors? Groundbreaking.

But he does make a good point. How's a girl supposed to keep her bunions flexible without daily walks? In the warmer months, I love to slip my orthotics into a good pair of fashionable shoes and go window shopping around the city, drooling over Manolos and Louboutins while I correct my bunions. But once there's ice on the sidewalks, I tend to stay inside watching my old Sex and the City DVDs for fear of slipping. (You already knew that bunions throw off landing mechanics, making us bunioned individuals more prone to falls, right? Good.)

Since there's not much we can do about the change in weather, let's brainstorm about how to keep toes flexible and metabolisms high during late fall and winter.

There's always yoga, which can be done in the comfort of your living room or in a toasty hot studio. (Sometimes taught by a toasty hot instructor, am I right?) Moreover, certain yoga poses my help reduce the severity of bunions because they promote flexibility. Conversely, they can also be a challenge due to the bony deformity, but this is where a good instructor comes in handy.

You can always join a gym, too. In addition to being an ice-free place to exercise, gyms are a great place to meet people as well as receive personalized instruction from trainers.

Of course, if you're like me, being in the vicinity of a crowd of sweaty strangers is not very appealing. This is where your local mall comes in. Take a cue from neighborhood seniors and start mall walking. You can even squeeze in some shoe shopping if the urge strikes.
 

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