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Skip Those Heels!

By Donna Stark

We all want to look our best as we head out the door for work and play, but when do we say enough is enough? How about when our style choices start affecting our long-term health? Do you think that would do it for you? Well, in an ideal world for women, the answer would be, "Yes! Of course!" But in the world of fashion, that answer may be slow to come by, and the reason is this: high-heeled shoes are just a part of who women are, right? And although my advice would be to not wear them at all, I know that more than likely, that scenario probably won't happen. So instead, I am going to just leave some tidbits of information and some practical advice here and let you choose the direction you want to take.

High Heels Aren't Doing You Any Favors

Before you slip on that perfect accessory, you may want to consider the impact that high-heeled shoes have on your body. Take a look.

  • Poor posture - Wearing this type of shoe places the heels unnaturally above the toes and throws the body completely out of its proper alignment which can lead to lower back and leg pain.
  • Knee problems - Balancing on stilettos every day throws the body forward, puts increased pressure on the knee, and can lead to degeneration of the joint.
  • Muscle issues - Wearing high heels every day can cause your calf muscles to shorten and tighten, leading to foot, knee, hip, and back pain.
  • Tendonitis - Heels can put a tremendous amount of pressure on the Achilles tendon, causing it to shorten and tighten. Over time, this can lead to tendonitis.
  • Ankle injuries - If you aren't a "seasoned" pro, wearing heels can certainly affect your balance and increase your chance of twisting your ankles and falling.

So What Can You Do?

Yes, the perfect pair of heels can definitely complement your outfit in the best of ways, but you need to do as much as you can to reduce your risk of injury. Here are some tips that can help you out with that.

  • Get fitted to make sure you are wearing the right size shoe
  • Wear a thicker heel for everyday use and save the stilettos for special occasions
  • Choose a thick sole, preferably made of rubber, to absorb some of the shock
  • Kick your shoes off throughout the day and stretch your ankles and toes
  • Invest in a pair of over-the-counter inserts

Show Your Feet Some Love

Wearing high heels regularly can cause significant issues with the structure and function of your feet, as well as your ankles, knees, hips, back, and shoulders, but there are some steps you can take that will help! So if you are going to choose fashion over comfort, just be sure to show your feet some extra love in your downtime!

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Wheaton, Ill.

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