Most men and women would agree: high heels look good. They make legs longer, more defined, and hips sway more. We get it, ladies; we understand the appeal. But before you adopt an everyday heels habit, here are eight facts you ought to know and a few ways to counteract the damage being done.
1. Heels Change Your Posture
When you wear high heels, most of your weight is supported by the ball of your foot. That part of your foot, unfortunately, wasn’t meant to do the kind of heavy lifting your heel is designed for. To compensate for the high heel, you end up adjusting your posture, which is detrimental to your long-term spinal health.
2. Heels Cause Bunions
Yeah, you know what we’re talking about. Those unattractive bulges at the base of your big toe, formed by pressure on the area from the squished toe and the heel sliding against it. No good.
3. You Should Move Around in Heels
If you are going to wear heels, you should move frequently to avoid putting pressure on any one part of your body for too long.
What you can do: Going on bare foot walks in the soft sand on the beach can help keep all the muscles in the leg strong as well as provide needed stability to all the muscles helping you to prevent injuries as well as helping your joints get a much needed rest from walking in high heels.
4. Heels Shorten Calf Muscles
Heels make your calf muscles bunch up, which is part of the reason they’re flattering. However, prolonged shortening of the calf muscle can cause serious problems, such as plantar fasciitis, which can cause severe heel pain.
What you can do: You will want to make sure that you take the time to stretch the Achilles tendon, calf and peroneal muscles (muscles that let you point your foot down and out) regularly to keep the muscles and ligaments from permanently shortening and changing the normal mechanics of gait.
Related Article: 5 Reasons Walking on the Beach Can Improve Your Health
5. Heels with Straps Are Better
Note we didn’t say heels with straps are great. But heels with a strap over the top of the foot keep shoes on better while walking, and minimize unnatural tensing of the foot to keep the high heel in place.
6. Your Whole Body Suffers When You Wear Heels
Your feet, legs, back and neck are all connected, and prolonged time in heels can cause soreness or even injury in all of these areas.
7. Heels Can Cause Ankle Injuries
Your chances of twisting or snapping an ankle are far greater in a pair of heels, so take care.
What you can do: Another solution is to seek professional help for injuries to the feet, legs and knees to help you get function back. One method for this would include ART (Active Release Technique), which is regularly performed by Chiropractors to help people with recurrent injuries restore normal mechanics and clear new and old injuries. This is a patented technique used by athletes in all professional sports as well as non-athletes to regain function.
8. You Should Minimize Time in Heels
If you’re unwilling to give up high heels- at least choose to wear them in moderation and combine some of the other techniques we talked about in this article. If you have to wear heels to work, for instance, bring a pair of flats for walking to and from the office or taking public transportation. Try also moving to shorter heel.
Even if you don’t wear heels, you can benefit from chiropractic care and/or foundation training, so feel free to get in touch with us and schedule a consultation so you can begin your wellness journey today.