Victoria Beckham is back to her old bunion-exacerbating ways

As the saying goes, "old habits die hard." All I needed to do was take one look at Victoria Beckham's mangled feet to find some truth to this statement. Someone formerly called "Posh Spice" should know that the hottest fashion trends don't necessarily mean your former foot problems are going to disappear. 

Victoria's sordid foot history
Like me, this woman knows all too well what happens when you get bunions. The former pop star turned fashion designer has been having issues with her feet since the Spice Girls were still a band (that is a long time, for you younger readers). Rumors are still swirling around London about whether or not Victoria went under the knife to correct her bony bumps.

I don't want to be too hard on Victoria because she isn't a complete dunce (she had the good sense to marry that sexy husband of hers, am I right?) However, I have a rough idea of why Victoria's long and uncomfortable history with pain in the feet has been hitting the tabloids year after year – and I bet the answer is lying in her closet (closets?) full of death-defying Louboutins.

She was spotted just recently in one of her own garment designs, which I have to say looked sensational on her svelte frame, especially after four kids. However, the outfit would have paired perfectly with some stylish flats instead of the outlandishly spiky and uncomfortable knee-high heeled boots she was wearing.

Some women will never learn
Rumor has it that her hunk of a husband, David Beckham, is calling it quits stateside (say it ain't so!) and bringing their life back to England so that their kids can spend their school years there, so the fashion-conscious pair have been seen shopping for a new flat in the luxurious West London neighborhoods recently.

Ok … I've never been to London, but I can't imagine that this is what a typical British woman would be wearing while looking for a new pad. Apartment hunting is a chore, not a runway show! And besides, she should know better after all of her years with issues related to bunions.

As her shoes continue to reach new heights, there is a chance her bunions will come back if she did indeed have surgery. Studies have shown that just because you go through a procedure to correct your bunions doesn't mean they go away for life, especially if you have a love affair with towering heels like our friend, Mrs. Beckham.

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Nike helps diminish foot pain and rakes in 2012 profits

It's been a very good year for Nike. For many Americans, the Nike swoosh has become as iconic as baseball, Coca-Cola and apple pie, and I am no different.

I follow many hunky athletes, and the vast majority of them tend to pick the shoe giant as their provider for all things athletic – famous or not. According to Advertising Age, Nike is soaring above all other competitors in 2012, and they have the London Olympics to thank for that. Who didn't watch the Olympic Games this year? I don't think I have seen that many big British celebs since I spotted Victoria Beckham's bunions at the Royal Wedding several years ago.

All joking aside, sporting events of this magnitude mean big bucks for the shoe industry. Since so many athletes have hitched a ride on the Nike train, the world's biggest sporting stage allowed the shoe behemoth to sponsor eight of the 16 countries that were featured in the Euro 2012 soccer championship (can you say "eye candy?!") and were able to flawlessly etch the iconic swoosh across the swimsuits, athletic shorts and tennis shoes of many competitors at the 2012 Olympic Games. Not that the swoosh was the first thing to catch my eye, but…

To date, Nike currently holds 55 percent of the market share and is awash with $24 billion in profits for 2012 – both up 4 percent from 2011 despite the dismal economy (I don't know about you, but my shoe-shopping habit has certainly taken a dive this year). What is even more amazing is that Nike didn't have to bombard me with annoying commercials to get there. Like my trusty orthotic, their products usually speak for themselves.

There is a reason why Nike is continually on top when it comes to athletic shoes. According to Shape magazine, the best athletic shoes for women includes Nike's Zoom line, which was launched this year in lieu of the London Olympic Games. Many athletes with foot problems – both male and female – swear allegiance to Nike because of their great arch support and balance that so many active participants need.

According to Advertising Age, only $3 billion of their skyrocketing profits came directly from consumer sales, but the good news is that they are starting to change that. By expanding their retail footprint with what they call "brand experience stores" this year, Nike is hoping to reach and even larger consumer base. It certainly looks to me that this shoe giant is here to stay.

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The debate continues over cosmetic surgery for foot problems

Just how far will people go to make their feet pretty? Quite far, surprisingly enough … and let me just say I have seen a lot when it comes to feet. It's no walk in the park to blitz a bunion by going under the knife, but disturbing cosmetic foot surgeries continue to intrigue women across the country.

I've never understood how having your foot maimed was considered sexy in the first place, but according to Podiatry Today, many concerned doctors are actually honoring their Hippocratic Oath by coming out against these unneccessary – and often silly – operations. The facts remain the same: Surgeries are not without risk, so why go through the pain and cost of shaving down your bunion when you can just use a trusty orthotic? A night splint may not be the sexiest of nocturnal footwear, but it sure as hell beats a surgical scar that you will have for the rest of your life.

In a revealing article by The Wall Street Journal, some clinics in Los Angeles are offering "Foot-Tuck Fat Pad Augmentation," an operation that sounded so extremely off-putting that I had to re-read its description to make sure I wasn't having a nightmare. In this radical new operation, doctors remove the excess fat from your stomach – this isn't anything new in L.A., am I right? After they have removed these tissues, they cut your foot open and shove the fat underneath the balls of your feet so that wearing sky-high heels is easier and more comfortable.

Call me crazy, but does this not sound completely nuts? I thought that surgery was supposed to be performed in extreme situations. The lengths that women will go to wear Louboutins never ceases to amaze me. Hopefully these Hollywood foot surgery trends will not become national phenomenons. Some things are better left to Hollywood.

Thankfully, most doctors think that these extreme versions of a bunionectomy are not the way to go. According to Podiatry Today, both the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons (ACFAS) and the American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society (AOFAS) agree with me – getting cosmetic surgery on your feet is silly – not to mention expensive! I would much rather use those thousands of dollars on a year's supply of shoes or pedicures.

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The psychology behind high heels – and what it means for your bunion

I personally have never understood the love affair that women have with sky-high shoes. Have heels ever gone down in height? I guess flats made a comeback for a hot minute, but honestly, I simply cannot go shopping anymore without seeing the heels rise further and further into the stratosphere. Sure, they make your legs and butt look good, but is there something more psychological behind female obsession with stilettos?

Personal or business?
A columnist from the Tucson Weekly recently addressed the same issue, using Carrie Bradshaw from the popular "Sex and the City" show and Victoria Beckham – my fellow bunion sufferer – as examples of why women continually totter around in shoes that are not only hard to walk in, but may cause injury. She went on to explain that these characters may entice women to join a "club" where you have to have at least a 4-inch Blahnik to join. However, most women understand that movie stars and the shoes they wear are not practical for day-to-day routine. So why do ladies continue to festishize over high heels?

According to article, women in the workplace looking to break through the glass ceiling are often to blame – how counterproductive does that seem? Show off your mental prowess by amping up your leg appeal? The source reported that although it has been long thought that these shoes were created to attract men, many women in competition for jobs will wear high heels as an unofficial symbol of power and ambition. Shoe companies know this too – according to the source, Macy's flagship store in New York City recently unveiled the "largest shoe floor on earth," with more than 280,000 pairs of shoes, most of them heels – all of this done under a recession-fueled budget. Why? Women think heels will not only make them look good, they will also get them ahead in the business world. Apparently height matters to women as well – being literally on the same level as their male counterparts provides a "leg up," so to speak. 

Who needs 'em?
I'm here to say this: Ladies, the long-term damage that these sexy shoes will do to your feet is not worth any man or supposed career climb. Everything from back pain to bunion surgery can be in your future if you continue these unhealthy trends. Just look at all these growing numbers of women in CEO positions … do you think they are tottering around in heels? I don't think so! Using your smarts to get ahead in business is always a better move than putting your feet through torture. 

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England’s most successful foot model dishes about pain in the feet

This woman may have the luckiest job in the world. Who wouldn't want to get paid $4,500 a photo session to trot around in designer Louboutins and get free pedicures? Although it wouldn't be nearly as sexy, maybe I should get into modeling devices like the Bunion Brace to earn a few extra dollars on the side?

In the foot-obsessed British publication, the Daily Mail, Gemma Howorth lives in the posh neighborhood of Chelsea in London's stylish west side and recently explained what the best job in the world entails. Apparently, it isn't nearly as glamorous as I thought. Even though Howorth does get fabulous free shoes and pedicures 24/7, she has to do everything short of obtaining an insurance plan to make sure her feet are in top condition.

"A bunion could be the end of my career, so anything other than comfy flats are strictly reserved for special occasions." she told the Daily Mail. "I do keep a few pairs that I love in my wardrobe – but mostly I just have to admire them from afar."

Howorth went on to explain that teetering around in sexy heels is dangerous not only because of a pesky bunion, but possible trips and falls. I have seen this happen numerous times on my nights out with my BFF. After my friend has more than two vodka and sodas, she takes at least one tumble (and at least a handful of toddler strolls) in her stilettos. To save myself from embarrassment and further injury, I'm usually on Howorth's side – I'll stick to my trusty flats every time.

If Ms. Howorth has a big shoot coming up, she will camp out in her apartment for days wearing nothing but UGGs and rubbing lotion onto her feet. She told the source that she has spent thousands of dollars in moisturizing treatments for her toesies. Talk about your foot-friendly professional investment! Apparently, I am in the wrong profession. A weekend of painting my toes and rubbing my bunion with the best treatments on the market sounds like paradise.

However, modeling feet can put a damper on your social life. Howorth has said that she has missed out on parties and social events in the past because of the attention she has to give to her feet. 

Don't take it from me, ladies – take it from one of the world's best foot models and save those heels for special occasions. A bunion is an ugly, annoying thing – but it can be avoided.

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A ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’-themed pedicure for my bunion? Sign me up!

I am not ashamed to admit that I haven't been able to put down the ever-so-popular page turner "Fifty Shades of Grey," a book so tawdry I think that, like bunions, I wouldn't mention the details in mixed company. However, some women are embracing both of these female favorites (where can I meet these gals?), according to Glamour magazine.

Oprah, another woman who like myself knows all about bunions, was a pioneer in the book club phenomenon in the 1990s, making reading posh again. Heck, today authors are lining up to get Oprah's stamp of approval – a nod from her has sent many writers into superstardom. Today the book club has now evolved its way from the bedside table to the foot spa, and I couldn't be happier about it. According to a recent fashion article in The New York Times, the hottest pedicures in the Big Apple don't involve flesh-eating fish or lasers, but simply a glass of wine, a fabulous pedicure and good conversation about the latest bestseller.

You may be thinking, "Bunion-Ella, you mentioned 'Fifty Shades of Grey,' are you sure there isn't any bondage going on with this new pedicure fad?" Nope. In fact, you can get a deep-tissue massage and discuss practically any book on the market. Although this recent foot phenomenon has taken off with high-society ladies in the Big Apple, women from Texas to California are slowly picking up on the trend.

Apparently authors are capitalizing on this foot rub phenomenon too. The Times reported that some authors have held female-geared book signings and meet-and-greets inside the foot spas themselves. The best part about this? You could get your bunion rubbed and talk to your favorite writer at the same time. The foot spas are happy about this as well, because it gives them much-needed exposure and promotion. It's not a surprise that women love pedicures, and the pressure is on for many foot spas to find the next "it" fad to get ladies into the massage chairs during the cold winter months when many ladies forego the luxury of a good foot rub.

There have been some wacky pedicure fads pop up out of NYC in the past – but this is first one in awhile that I can actually get on board with. When the next edition of "Fifty Shades" comes out – you'll know where to find me.

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Cheers! It turns out red wine is good for your bunion

It's no secret that I enjoy a little vino every once and awhile. Heck, me and my girlfriends count on it every weekend. After my second – or, let's be honest – third glass of red wine last night, I realized that my bunion pain miraculously disappeared. As it turns out, there is a whole scientific explanation behind this boozy pain relief.

There are these chemicals in red wine called polyphenols that are known to reduce inflammation. These naturally-occurring nutrients trigger a reaction that can spell relief for your toesies and other achy joints like ankles and knees. This is gonna make my weekends a lot more fun, that is for sure. Knowing that my favorite beverage also relieves my bunion pain? This is almost too good to be true.

As always, it is important plenty of water when you are tipping back the glass. Approximately three to five pints a day are usually good for normal hydration, according to The Daily Mail. For a lady like me who typically enjoys to put back at least a glass or two should probably up that number to make sure that a steady flow of nutrients is making its way to my bunion.

Arthritis is normal for broads like me, since it is a common trigger for bunion pain, but working off that glass of red wine with a jog or some yoga the next day is probably a good idea for your bunion too. According to HealthWorld, obesity can put even more strain on your feet. Since the toes are weight-bearing joints, it is important to hit the treadmill or roll out the mat after a night of drinking with the ladies. Too much alcohol can create excess belly fat (and who wants that?), so leading an active lifestyle is important in keeping a bunion at bay.

To all those white wine lovers out there looking to ease their arthritic bunion pain – you may want to switch to red. It turns out the skins of the grapes contain those antioxidants that make your bunion happy, and those are only found in the red varieties. As if this news can't get any better, I also found out that dark chocolate also contains this miracle nutrient. Pinch me, I must be dreaming.

I didn't need another reason to uncork that bottle of Merlot this evening, but now that I know that my feet are going to be happier because of it, it's all the more reason to eat, drink and be merry. Cheers to you and better relief for your bunions!

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