Every woman has them – those to-die-for heels we use as our secret weapon and hide in our closets. Those heels make our legs look fantastic and our butts look magnificent. 😉 Those heels that we had to buy and that make us feel like a million bucks every time we put them on. Those heels look just perfect with our little black dress and a clutch to match.
We all have that set of perfect heels but what are those perfectly gorgeous heels doing to our bodies?
High heels can cause knee pain
Ever have mysterious knee pain? Your high heels could be the cause. High heels place excess force on the inside of the knees, the higher the heel the more the pressure. The knees have become a common site for osteoarthritis, most likely because of the high heels we wear. Studies have shown that the force placed on the inside of the knees can increase up to 26% with heels on.
Bad posture and high heels
Ever wonder why you’re starting to have bad posture? Heels position the foot pointing forward, which places more pressure on your forefoot. This causes you to adjust the rest of your body to maintain your balance. Your lower body leans forward and your upper body leans back to compensate.
High heels and back pain
Do you have more back pain than you should? The correct shape of the spine normally acts as a shock absorber during motion and high heels make your spine unable to absorb the shock. High heels cause lower spine flattening and posterior displacement. This causes your muscles to stress because they have to strain to support the misalignment which leads to back pain and muscle tension.
High heels can cause hip pain
The hips are located at the tops of the thighs and high heels force them to work twice as hard to succeed in a forward motion. Since high heels force your feet into a downward motion they decrease the body’s forward momentum. If your hip flexor muscles are overused the muscles can shorten and cause contracture and extreme pain.
Ankle pain from wearing high heels
High heels also limit the motion of the ankles and restrict movement. Your calf muscles can become shortened if you wear heels for a prolonged period of time. This shortening of the muscle leads to the weakening of the calf. This can also cause a shortening of the Achilles tendon which can progress into insertional Achilles tendonitis
How to Wear High Heels Without Pain?
Here are some nifty tricks that will help you avoid and reduce the damage done by those perfect heels.
- Make sure your shoes fit! Even a few gained pounds can change your shoe size so make sure you measure your feet every time you buy a new pair.
- Wear shoes wider than you think you need. Don’t worry, they won’t stretch that much.
- Avoid the pointed high heels; instead, go for the rounded or square-tipped heels.
- Try to keep your heels below three inches. Your knees will thank you!
- Try to wear a consistent heel height; changing the height can actually irritate your Achilles tendon.
- As sexy as stilettos are, try to stay away from them. Instead go for the chunky, more supportive heels, and maybe even convert to platforms.
- If you have knee pain at all avoid heels altogether, it’s important to listen to your body.
- Always have a pair of comfy shoes in your car or desk. You never know when you could be stuck running errands.
- Remember to apply lotion to your feet daily to help with calluses and the sort.
- Get a regular pedicure; this can help with any ingrown toenails.
- Get a regular message; this can help with delayed muscle soreness and back issues
- Stretch your calves and Achilles tendons at least once a day, twice if you have the time. This can prevent the muscles from shortening.
- Every woman should do core strengthening exercises three to four times a week. This helps with back pain and muscle soreness.
- If you have a flexible flat foot, wear insoles, as these can decrease the pressure and make a three-inch heel feel like a two-inch heel.
- And last but not least, see a podiatrist if you have any consistent pain or numbness for five to seven days.
With these great tips, you should be able to rock your gorgeous heels without a stitch. No more mysterious back pain and painful calf cramps. I’ve tried these little tricks myself and they improved my heel-wearing 100%. Now you can wear your little black dress heels without worry.