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Dangers of Wearing High Heels

By: Jo Johnson - Updated: 25 Mar 2016 | comments*Discuss
High Heels; Health; Spine; Posture;

High heeled shoes have been a part of women’s fashion for many years and though they can make or break a good outfit, they can also hide some dangers if worn for too long.

It has been said that heels can make a women look sexier and have more shapely legs and although this may be true, there is nothing sexy about the long term damage that can arise.

How Heels Affect Posture & The Spine

High heels can significantly affect your natural posture and your spine.The arch in the lower back becomes more arched when wearing heels and the bottom can often be stuck out more than normal. This can leave the spine subject to injury or damage. The muscles that support the lower back can become strained and cause aching or pain to arise.

It has also been found that wearing high heels can put the spine out of its natural alignment and also the spinal nerves can become pinched and pain, tingling and numbness can occur.Many women who present to their doctor with back complaints may be surprised to learn that a lot of the problems can often be attributed to the constant wearing of high heeled shoes.

The Affect of Heels on Feet

Putting your foot into a high heeled shoe can have serious consequences on the overall health of your feet. The entire weight of the body will be directed onto the ball of your foot, this can be especially dangerous for those who are over weight causing the ball of the foot to experience additional pressure.

The feet are at risk of developing pain and nerve problems in this area and the toes are at risk of becoming deformed by conditions such as bunions of hammer toes.The long term risks include a permanent shortening of the Achilles tendon that runs up the back of the lower leg as constant wearing of high heels encourages the tendon to assume this shortened position permanently.

The toenails are also at risk from wearing high heels as the incidence of in-growing toenails and nail infections is higher in heel wearers that those who don’t wear them that often. In-growing toenails can be very painful, unsightly and required surgery to correct which can be detrimental to work and home life.

Risk of Accident/Injury

Walking in high heels is not something that every woman can do confidently. In fact many cannot walk properly or even safely in them at all. The dangers of falling on to the side of your foot and twisting your ankle are fairly high but so to is the serious possibility of an ankle fracture.

If you have sprained your ankle, the muscles and tendons will have been stretched beyond their normal limits and will become inflamed. These injuries can be extremely painful and can take several weeks to heal.

If the ankle has been fractured it is common to need corrective surgery in order to fix the bones; this often uses a series of metal pins, plates and screws.This can be very painful, often requires a hospital stay and will prevent you from working for several weeks unless adequate provisions in your workplace can be made.

Other Effects

There is some evidence to suggest that habitual wearing of high heels can have some impact on your mental health. It is thought that the wearing of very high heels can in fact constrict blood vessels and nerve supply connected to the brain and impair function in some way.

High heels may look fantastic but it is recommended that they are kept for special occasions and not worn every day.Aside from possible problems with the spine and the feet, they tend to be more expensive as well so not wearing them as often will also be good for your finances.

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