Monday, November 25, 2013

The Hazards of Wearing High Heels

High-heeled shoes of all shapes and heights can cause ongoing damage to the body. Depending on frequency and length of wear, these side effects can vary from minor pain to irreversible damage. Before strapping on those stylish shoes this holiday season, consider the specifics as to what’s taking place with each step.

Calf Muscles Can Shorten

Over time, the calf muscles can shrink and shorten due to improper usage. When wearing high heels, the rear of the foot is elevated, using less of this important muscle with each step.

Shortened Achilles Tendon

Also in danger of minimizing in length is the Achilles tendon. When walking on an angle vs. flat-footed, the tendon becomes compromised and is used in an unsafe position.

Knee Pain

When wearing high heels, thigh muscles are made to work harder, which means more impact on the knee (knee cap pressure alone increases by 26%). Over time this leads to aches or injuries.

Bad Posture

Because of the way one’s weight is displaced in high heels, the rest of the body’s posture suffers. The stomach is pushed forward (as well as the chest), the rear is pushed back, tilting the lower back, and knees and ankles are bent at awkward ankles, while the toes take the brunt of the weight. This is a recipe for pain and poor circulation in all areas of the body.

Ankle Sprain

Without proper footing, ankle sprains are far more likely to take place. In heightened shoes, wearers are more likely to lose balance, slip, or misstep, which can often cause ankle injuries.

Weight Displacement

Feet were made to hold one’s weight evenly, not all on the ball or toes. And the higher the heel, the more pressure that’s put onto the front of the feet. This can cause corns, shortening of toes, hammertoes, bunions, and a number of other pain-inducing issues. [Consumer Healthcare]

Holiday or not, avoiding high heels on a regular basis can help you to avoid these unfortunate health issues. Stick to flats for comfort, and for your health.