We love what they look like, and how they make us appear taller, sexier, our legs slimmer and our calves and butt appear firmer. They make us feel confident, sexy and fashionable.
We curse & whinge under our breath that our feet ache, we have blisters or sore knees or an aching back, or we twisted an ankle when our stiletto heel got stuck in a crack in the pavement… unfortunately high-heels are not your body’s friend. In fact, they can do a LOT of damage. (Especially, if you were to wear shoes like this. I don’t know that anyone would actually wear these…)
If you are a woman who chooses fashion over function, i.e. wearing high heels regularly, perhaps after reading this, you may decide to restrict the amount of time you wear them and leave them in your wardrobe until you have a special occasion. After all, you can choose to change your shoes when they wear out, but you only get one pair of feet, and they deserve to be loved and looked after!
Read on to learn what the true effects of wearing high heels… ladies, ignorance can be bliss, however there are some things about wearing high heels that every woman needs to know. You don’t want your feet to end up like Victoria Beckham‘s
2. FOOT PROBLEMS. Extra pressure on the feet and toes can cause problems such as Morton’s neuroma which is where the tissue around a nerve in between the toes thickens, causing pain and inflammation. Bunions are commonly formed by wearing shoes that are too tight, and cause a bony overgrowth that pushes the big toe inward towards the other toes, causing pain. Hammer toes are also a common deformity caused by high heels.
3. ANKLE PROBLEMS. Not only do high heels wearing heels affect your feet, your ankles are also at greater risk for injury due to the unbalanced nature of high heels. You could also end up with a Haglund’s deformity (also called “pump bump”) where irritation over time causes a small bony growth, often caused by the pressure of pump-style heels.
4. SHORTENED CALF MUSCLES & ACHILLES TENDON. Wearing heels contacts and shortens your your calf muscles and Achilles tendon. Wearing heels often can actually lead to a permanent physical shortening over time, as the muscle fibers remain stuck in their contracted state over time. This can set you up for walking difficulties, and postural dysfunction.
5. KNEE PROBLEMS. Due to the change in overall posture when wearing heels, a greater amount of pressure is put on the inside of the knee. Over time, this can lead to osteoarthritis, by the increase in joint pressure. Osteoarthritis is twice as common in women as it is in men.
6. HIP & BACK PROBLEMS. Your pelvis and especially hip flexors (located around the top front of your thighs), are affected by wearing heels. The hip flexors are forced to work harder when you are wearing heels, and can also permanently shorten over time. This can set you up for a flattening of the natural lumbar curve in your back, increasing your risk of back pain and spinal problems.
SO… is it really worth it? Are your beautiful, precious & functional feet worth the price of fashion? Short answer: No!
TIPS FOR HAPPY FEET!
- Limit your use of high heels to special occasions.
- Take a spare pair of flat shoes/flip-flops with you if you can.
- Wear flat, comfortable and supportive shoes most of the time.
- Walk around bare foot when you can.
- Stretch your calves and hip flexors after wearing heels.
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