Being a dedicated follower of fashion can be harder on your body then the effects you feel after a night dancing in skyscraper heels. High heels and flat pumps may look and make us feel good, but what damage are they doing to the rest of our body?
Don’t be a slouch – High heel shoes put your feet in an unnatural position pointing downward, which places an increased amount of pressure on the ball of your foot. This position causes your lower half to lean forward, with the upper part of your body leaning back to compensate. This affects your posture, as the natural s-curve shape of the back flattens putting an added strain on back muscles causing back pain. Knee and hip pain is also often felt as a result of the additional work placed on them when walking due to the position of the foot, and have reduced power to move the body forward.
The Balancing Act - Walking in high heels is easier said than done. Without proper support for your foot, your ankle and foot move in a turned out position. This position weakens the support of the ankle making it easier to sprain. Ankle sprains cause pain and sometimes swelling due to the soft tissue damage around the ankle. Hammer toes, bunions and neuroma’s also occur do to the unnatural position of the foot.
Best foot forward - Both high heels and flat shoes, such a ballet pumps, also have a major impact on your feet, knees and back due to the lack of support at arches of the foot. Your foots natural arch need support when walking as this can result in subsequent structural problems in your feet which alter your walking pattern, running pattern & cause pain throughout your body. Custom orthotic devices and insoles are designed to realign your foot and body, and relieve abnormal strain of tissues and structure. Strengthening and exercises programs will also help relief the strains and pressures.
No need to hang up the high heels just yet, but pay attention to any aches and pains that radiate up your body and limit the amount of time you spend in heels. With Christmas party season over, it could be time to dig out the slippers; your body will thank you for it!
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