THE PERILS OF HIGH HEELS
Yes they can look great but high heels can do serious damage to your health. It's not an out and out ban I'm suggesting but more of a "right time right place" approach so as to avoid the misery of foot pain than can arise from the long-term use of high heels. Here are just a few facts about heeled shoes and the damage you might be doing.
A FEW FACTS + FIGUES
About 72% of women wear high heeled shoes at some time and this is higher in the 18-24yr age group. The common side effects include:
When you wear high heels the body has to compensate to maintain balance as the weight is shifted forwards. This “off-balance” position results in a shift of pressure and causes the hips joints and spine to flex abnormally. The muscles around these joints become more tense to support the out of alignment joints. As a result you can develop back pain and muscle strain.
SHORTENED ACHILLES TENDONS
A serious long-term effect of wearing high heels on a regular basis is shortening of the Achilles tendon. With the heel raised up the Achilles tendon actually physiologically shortens, a permanent change that can have other serious consequences. This can mean that when you want to walk barefoot or wear flats shoes the Achilles tendon is too tight and you may experience pain in your feet and legs.
FOREFOOT PAIN /METATARSALGIA
High heels push the weight of your body forwards. Research has shown that the amount of extra pressure on the ball of the feet is related to the heel height. Over time this abnormal pressure over the ball of the feet can result in painful conditions such as calluses, neuromas and bursitis.
ANKLE SPRAINS / TRIPS
When you wear flats, your weight is spread evenly between the ball of your foot and the heel, with little pressure on your ankle. Unfortunately, heels cause such an imbalance between the heel and the ball that the ankle is forced to become the fulcrum for your entire body. And, since ankles aren’t built to take that kind of pressure, falls and twisted or sprained ankles can be pretty common. It’s nearly impossible to perfectly balance, especially in very high heels, so any bump in the pavement can feel like a 10-foot wall when you’re trying to scale it in your favorite pump
The majority of high heels have quite a pointed shaped toe shape. Unfortunately the shape of most people’s fee is more squared. Add to this the fact the heels force your feet forwards and it’s easy to see how the toes become squeezed. This constant pressure can cause the nails to become ingrown as the nail edge is pushed into the flesh around the toes.