Many women can’t imagine giving up their high heels. In fact it’s estimated that despite suffering from painful bunions, corns and calluses 62 percent of American women continue to squeeze their feet into them.
But the truth is, the price you’re paying to get that desired look is awfully steep, ranging from chronic pain to permanent deformity.
And research has confirmed what most women could already have told you, and that is walking in heels reduces…
- your ability to move your ankle muscles,
- the length of the steps that you can take,
- your range of movement,
- your ability to balance.
That last one probably played a large part in why over 123,000 women in the U.S. alone found themselves in the emergency room between 2002 and 2012 with injuries caused from wearing high heels.
3 GREAT reasons to trash the high heels
If you’re on the fence about continuing to wear your high heels here are three great reasons that I hope will have you tossing the heels and sporting some fun flats instead.
1.Degenerating knee joints:
According to researchers, high heels may be linked to permanent knee damage. Studies suggest that wearing them could contribute to osteoarthritis (OA).
OA is a degenerative joint disease. During the later stages of this painful condition your cartilage is worn away allowing bone to rub directly against bone causing even more pain and damage.
Not surprisingly, in one study researchers confirmed that when a woman walks in high heels there are changes to her knee kinematics and kinetics. In other words, both the motion of her knee joint and the forces on her knee joint are changed.
In fact, according to the study published in the Journal of Orthopedic Research, increasing weight and heel height produced damaging changes that are very similar to what’s seen when we get older or suffer from progressing osteoarthritis. Which means, of course that wearing those heels could be raising your risk for joint destroying OA.
2. Chronic back pain:
Your body is built to protect your delicate spine by absorbing damaging shock waves when you move. When you walk without any shoes on at all, your body naturally forms an s-curve in your back. This curve acts like a built-in shock absorber diverting stress from your vertebrae
Flat shoes don’t change the shape of that protective s-curve very much, but high heels are a whole different story. When you stand up in a pair of heels you’re forced to lean forward at an unnatural angle. Your hips are pushed forward and your spine is knocked out of alignment.
Naturally your body tries to correct the misalignment to keep you from falling over. As a result that protective forward curve of your spine is decreased in an attempt to keep your body aligned. That’s a problem because it often leads to chronic—sometimes debilitating—back pain and muscle overuse.
And that pain doesn’t always stay confined to the back either. According to osteopathic physician Natalie A. Nevins, DO, “The change to the position of your spine puts pressure on nerves in the back, and can cause sciatica, a condition where nerves become trapped, triggering pain and numbness as far down as the feet.”
3. Foot deformities:
Here’s the thing. Our feet aren’t really designed to be in shoes. So no matter what shoes you put on your feet are forced to adapt to the space they’re given and as a result they become less and less flexible as we age.
But when the space your feet are given is also at an unnatural angle, the result over time can be chronic pain and foot deformities. Compacted toes, reduced range of motion in the ankle, shortened achilles tendons, narrow feet and a painfully tight plantar fascia aren’t uncommon in women who often wear high heels.
High heels force a woman to continually step on the balls of her feet, and this can cause a condition called dropped metatarsals. With every step you take in a pair of heels you’re feet are forced downwards as your toes are forced upwards both at damaging angles. According to Doctor Daniel Lopez, DO, over time this can cause permanent changes to joints in your feet.
I hope these three reasons are enough to get you to give up the heels for good. But if you’re still determined to wear them commit to making a few changes to help minimize the damage…
- swap your “nose bleeders” for a lower heel
- wear your high heels only on days when you don’t have to stand or walk a lot
- cut down on the number of days you wear high heels
- switch up your shoes throughout the day to give your feet a rest
- avoid pointy toed shoes
- slide your high heels off whenever you get a chance and do simple stretches
- use inserts to help keep your feet from sliding
Give your feet a break, they deserve it. After all you only get one pair to last you an entire lifetime.
- Kindness, caring, compassion
- Open-minded about alternative medicine
- Friendly (dare we even say…cool?)
Well, you’ve come to the right place. HealthierTalk is proud to introduce you to Dr. Joshua Levitt… a man who actually checks all the boxes, and more.
Dr. Joshua Levitt is a naturopathic physician who is widely known for his expertise in treating both common and complex medical problems. In practice, Dr. Levitt draws on his broad knowledge of the science of both conventional and natural medicine and the art of combing the two into a “best of both worlds” treatment strategy. He has over 15 years of direct clinical experience using a unique blend of nutritional therapy, herbal medicine, and physical medicine to treat a wide range of diseases and conditions. His patients and his readers praise him for the ability to educate, motivate, and inspire them with stories and advice that helps them help themselves. In addition to his work as an author, Dr. Levitt owns and runs a private practice in Connecticut, where he is also a clinical preceptor for the Yale School of Medicine.
Dr. Levitt’s unique perspective was informed by an education that includes a degree in physiology from UCLA, a doctorate in naturopathic medicine from the prestigious Bastyr University, formal residency training in integrative medicine in Seattle, and experience with thousands of patients.
Dr. Levitt is also the author and creator of several popular books, and many articles and videos, which all demonstrate his passion and commitment to bringing information and products to you that can help you achieve your health and wellness goals. You can see more from Dr. Levitt at UpWellness.com.
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