How You Can Reduce Pain from High Heels
By Sara Butler
Millions of women all over the world wear high heels on a daily basis. If you count yourself among their ranks there are just a few things you need to know about heels and how they impact your health. Here are just a few of the facts about high heel wearing and how you can avoid problems as a result.
Math is a funny thing. OK, not funny in a “ha-ha” kind of way, but funny in a way it can show the impact of things. For example, when a woman wears a pair of high heels, they are putting 15 times the amount of pressure per square inch under the feet than that of an elephant. That is precisely why the way in which heels change your posture can lead to a myriad of problems, including:
- Plantar fasciitis
- Strained calves
- Ankle pain
- Knee pain
- Low back pain
It’s simply bad for you – because people weren’t meant to put their bodies under so much pressure!
Biomechanical Challenges of Heel Wearing
Not to get too technical, but since math has already been brought into the equation (haha) there’s more it can help heel-wearers to realize!
The way heels are shaped means that the arch of the foot is raised up off the ground. This stretches the tough band of tissue at the bottom of your foot called the plantar fascia. Its job is to help absorb shock as you walk but when it’s stretched out it not only can’t do its job properly, it’s inability to do its job will get transferred to the Achilles tendon and calf muscles, shortening them and leading you to straight plantar fasciitis town.
Since so much energy is transferred to the ball of your foot, you’re in danger of developing an inflammation of the ball of the foot called metatarsalgia. And it’s not nearly as fun to have as it is to try to pronounce.
Low back, hip and knee pain may also lie in the high heel wearer’s future because it causes the entire weight of the body to shift forward resulting in an increased low back curve and the pushing out of your chest.
Tips to Reduce Pain
The reality is even being educated in the ways that heels are bad for you won’t stop people from wearing them. So how can you help reduce pain?
First, see your chiropractor regularly. They can do the best thing they can to try and offset some of the biomechanical issues presented by high heels and keep little problems from hopefully becoming very large.
Try to keep your heels fewer than two inches as well, and don’t buy heels with pointed toes if you can help it. Make sure to rotate the types of shoes you wear throughout the week too. If you wear heels one day, shoot for a flat shoe the next.
If you have other questions about wearing heels, talk to your chiropractor!