High heels are wonderfully feminine and complete any elegant, sexy or glamorous outfit. The bad part of wearing heels is that there is a price to pay. We are talking here about the consequences it has on the body – especially when this becomes an everyday habit.
Some say heels have certain positive effects, like strengthening the ankles and improving posture, as the back arches more, but these benefits are small compared to the issues created. The studies on this matter abound and can be found easily on the Internet.
The American Osteopathic Association provides evidence of how this harms both the muscles and the bones. It creates an unnatural alignment of your bones and therefore modifies the structure in harmful ways – sometimes irreversible. The more time you spend like that, the greater the risk. Plus, you’re adding extra pressure to areas that would normally handle less. This will compress the tissue or even lead to cracks and fissures. Even when these are microscopical, it’s still a very serious threat. The first area to face issues is the foot sole, more precisely the plantar fascia, which becomes sore and painful.
The more body weight you have, the worse your feet problems get. You risk toe hyperextension, which means your toe ligaments get elongated beyond what’s normal.
It’s not just about your feet, though – the angles force the body out of its proper alignment. The lower back begins to hurt easily from wearing high heels. Also, the knees are affected and the trouble can extend to the shoulders as well. Since everything is connected, you cannot stop this domino effect. Heels disrupt the usual center of gravity, thus prompting you to make a bigger effort to stand up straight.
To prevent the pain from worsening, you can at least try to stretch your feet and legs. Do this even before you put on your high heels, as to condition your feet muscles and ligaments for what’s to come. Also, keep in mind that not all high-heeled shoes are the same. Block heels – the thicker, more solid type – seem to be a lot more comfortable than stilettos. If you can opt for wedges, then that is even better, considering that your entire foot benefits of greater support. As a rule of thumb, wide heels are safer than narrow ones, yet there are certain people who find these too rigid, while thinner heels offer them a degree of flexibility. The problem with the latter is that they make it too easy for you to slip your feet and hurt your ankles.
If you cannot avoid wearing high heels, wear well padded shoes or purchase sole pads that are sold separately, to ensure the much needed cushion.
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