| Looking Beautiful in Heels has its Drawbacks
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Looking Beautiful in Heels has its Drawbacks

Looking Beautiful in Heels has its Drawbacks

Almost every woman has worn a pair of heels at some point in their lives. The range of heels may vary from sky-high 6-inch stilettos to kitten heels no higher than 2 inches. Apart from making a woman look taller and leaner, heels also compliment various outfits. They are an added accessory that can take an everyday look to a whole new fashionable level.

On the downside, the great looks and impeccable fashion sense come with a high price over your health. Heels have been documented to cause the most foot and ankle complaints from women. Getting accustomed to the art of wearing heels comes at a significant cost, putting your health and your finances at risk.

The History of Heel-Wearing

The first set of heels ever made was not crafted from a fashion point of view. Horse riders donned heels to prevent slipping of their feet from stirrups during the 9th Century. Hundreds of years later in the 17th Century, aristocrat women and wealthy men wore heels to either increase their height or show off their noble status.

Today, most women wear heels to add to their height and also compliment their looks. The drawback for most is trying to discover the delicate balance between wearing heels as a rare treat as opposed to an everyday occurrence.

To shed light on the matter, we have listed the major drawbacks of heel-wearing.

Disadvantages of wearing heels

  1. Knee and ankle pain

The structure of the heel does not permit any motion of the foot while also forcing the foot to bend forward in an unnatural position. As a result, over 50% of your body weight is forced down on the balls of your feet. Your ankles and knees also have to absorb all the shock as you walk, leaving your joints riddled with pain at the end of the day.

  1. Increased lower back pain.

With your lower body stretched forward and downward as a result of the heels, your upper torso compensates by extending backward while your chest is pushed up. This altered posture leads to consistent complaints of lower back pain.

  1. Short Achilles tendon

Frequently wearing heels throughout your lifetime increases the chances of shortening your Achilles tendon. Lifting the heel of your foot causes your Achilles tendon to stiffen, thereby bunching up your calf muscles. Shortened Achilles Tendons are characterized by immense pain while wearing flat shoes.

  1. Callouses, Bunionettes, and Bunions

Ill-fitting shoes that are too tight or heels with unaccommodating toe boxes (tapered-toe heels) can put a lot of pressure on the sides of your feet, as well as on your toes. The excessive and increased friction between the shoe material and your skin can lead to the formation of hard callouses.

Pointy-toed heels force your toes into uncomfortable, awkward positions that can have bunionettes and bunions forming on your fifth metatarsal joint and the side of your big toe respectively.

  1. No cushioning of the feet.

The heel of the foot is made up of a mass of fat cells that provide for feet cushioning as we walk.  Wearing heels places your whole body’s weight on the ball of your foot, an area with no significant cushioning. Most women have resorted to applying orthotic high heel inserts to provide for cushioning. The lack of cushion support makes walking around in heels highly uncomfortable.

Mitigation methods

You can mitigate the disadvantages of heel-wearing by:

  • Practicing moderation in your frequency of wearing heels
  • Wearing platform heels that assist in raising the ball of the foot to reduce the pressure exerted on the heel.
  • Choosing heels of less than 2 inches for a much preferred, healthier you.
  • Exercising your foot muscles by practicing a bit of stretching at the end of the day.

That said, mastering the art of wearing heels can prove elusive to most. Keep in mind that your health surpasses all other agendas in question.

If you are experiencing any ankle or foot pains as a result of wearing heels, visit us at Oasis Foot and Ankle. With several centers in Phoenix and Scottsdale, our podiatrists will help you with comprehensive care options. Call us today!

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