Humans invented shoes to protect the foot. Our foot evolved to give the body a desired balance and support for the biped mobility. In the post-war period, a new trend of high heels entered mainstream fashion. Designers added extra height to the heel to satiate the human urge of relative height. As expected, it soon captured the mood of fashion. The sense of fashion took precedence over the need for comfort and protection. This gave birth to several feet, leg, and spine-related issues.
You look great in your 4-inch high pencil heels, but you know it very well how painful it is to look great in high heels. You can say it is ‘suffering in style’. This takes a heavy toll on your body posture, resulting in several complications. Several studies point to the fact that the towering heels can injure your feet, ankles, hips, spine, and hips. You can spoil the natural posture and gait.
What Happens When You Wear High Heels?
- Your chest goes forward. This might make you look bolder but that boldness impacts the natural S-shape of your spine.
- Your high heel pushes the lower back forward, which disturbs the normal alignment of the hip and spine.
- To maintain the balance while walking or standing, you put extra stress on your knees, increasing the chances of knee pain.
- Your heel shifts the pressure on the balls of the feet.
- On the other hand, your flat shoe distributes pressure evenly across the foot and keeps your spine in natural shape.
The height of the heel determines the weight carried by the footwear. More height means the pressure shifts towards the forefoot or the ball of the foot. You need to follow fashion to look contemporary. That is perfectly fine, but you need to understand the problem that you might face. This will help you to be judicious in the use of high heels. Here are some of the problems associated with high heel use:
- Ankle Injury might not like it, but your high heel isn’t designed to give the desired support for balance. You might topple and injure your ankle with stress fractures. That little sudden tilt could break the ligament causing a painful ankle sprain. The chances of injury increase many times if you are trying it for the first time.
- Invite Arthritis – If you are a regular user of high heels, you are simply inviting arthritis foot pain. Your high heels put undue stress on the cartilage of joints. This excess pressure wears your ligament faster. Signs won’t be visible instantly, but it will speed up the process.
- Worsen Foot Problems – Your foot has some problems like corns and calluses, bunions, ingrown toenails or hammertoes, your high heels will worsen the problem. The best is to avoid until your wounds heal. If you have a problem with plantar fasciitis, your high heels will make it worse.
- Pain in Foot and Beyond – High heel changes your posture, which affects several muscles of the lower body. Several studies suggest that high heel could cause or accentuate problems like back pain, chronic knee pain, calf issues, plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendonitis, hamstring issues, and hip problems.
- Walk Differently – Regular use of high heels changes your walking style. Your muscles get adapted to the particular walk style. It is like an earthquake and aftershock. You endure the pain of wearing high heels and when you plan to change, this brings that pain back again.
It is hard to resist the need for fashion. So, the best possible way is to control the use of change. You can do some exercises to strengthen your foot and leg muscles. The best way to avoid heel induced injury is to walk on soft ground barefoot. This helps your foot regain alignment and reduce the chance of injury.