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Risks of Wearing High Heels

Do high heel contribute to back, hip, and knee problems? Unfortunately, some studies suggest yes.[1] Sliding into a pair of high heels can be an instant ego-boost. Whether they’re sky-high stilettos or just a little lift, heels give the appearance of a slimmer physique by making us taller and extending the leg line. While wearing high heels may do wonders for style, the same cannot be said for health. 

There’s nothing wrong with wearing high heels on occasion but wearing them on a regular basis may come with risks. We want you to be safe, which is why we put together a brief summary of the disadvantages of wearing high heels.

High Heels May Affect the Spine

 Did you know that wearing high-heeled shoes adversely affects the spinal curvature? A study conducted to review the effects of low versus high-heel footwear in young adult women found that not only may wearing high heels affect the spinal curvature, but it may increase the risk of lower back pain by disturbing the way women walk.[2] This is especially relevant for young adults, whose musculoskeletal systems are still developing. It may be tempting to wear high heels to parties like bat-mitzvahs and sweet 16s, but based on this evidence, we’d urge against it.

High-Heeled Shoes Could Lead to Bunions (Hallux Valgus)

 Before you get scared, it’s important to note that developing hallux valgus as a result of wearing high heels primarily pertains to shoes with a very high heel and a very narrow toe box.[3] This study by The Journals of Gerontology found an increased likelihood of hallux valgus (bunions), a progressive foot deformity that affects the metatarsophalangeal joint in women who wore shoes with very narrow toe boxes and higher heels between the ages of 20-39. While the condition may not show itself until later in life, it is important to note that actions today affect the outcomes of tomorrow.

Wearing High Heels May Lead to Chronic Pain

  Numerous studies have shown how wearing high heels over a prolonged period of time may shorten calf muscles and lead to muscle spasms.[4] Technically all shoes contort your feet into unnatural shapes, but one of the disadvantages of wearing high heels is that they also shorten and tighten the Achilles tendon. Chronic pain from wearing high heels could show up as plantar fasciitis and result in pain even when you’re not wearing your heels.

To Wear Heels or Not?

 While evidence suggests that there are risks associated with wearing high heels, this doesn’t mean you have to retire your heels forever. Instead, be sparing with how often you wear heels and choose to do to so on days that you may not be standing for long stretches.

Speaking of stretching, do that! Stretch your feet and calves and massage your feet on a regular basis to increase blood flow and promote circulation. For more tips on foot health, be sure to visit Sorevna’s blog today! 

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