People prefer to wear different type of shoes. Some prefer sneakers while others prefer something a little higher, like high heels. For me, I am not a person of high heels, I prefer comfort. Moreover, I have no capability of walking on high heels.  Even with my limited experience with high heels, I have always wondered about the health impacts of wearing high heels on a daily basis. Speaking based on personal experience, high heels tend to cause foot pain and soreness in calves during the day and after taking them off. On top of that, after the day my soles would be crying in pain. I assume all these pains go away, once you get used to wearing the high heels.

 

Interestingly enough, talk about high heels never cease.  For example, there is a large amount of people who assume that wearing high heels on a daily basis tones the butt, calves and thighs. According to some, easy way to get Hollywood like butt with toned thighs is to wear high heels.  Yay for the high heel wearers, right?

 

Well, little bit deeper research into health benefits of high heels suggest a whole different view on that. Experts and researchers have found high heels to be the cause of foot pain, back pain, unnatural structure of backbone, nerve pain or even damage, knee damage, calluses, ankle sprains and even weakened calf muscles. Talk about the devil. It turns out they do no good in toning the muscles, rather they weaken them.

 

How do they cause all these negative health effects?

Wearing too high shoes for a long time with repetitive frequency causes musculoskeletal changes in human body.  For example,  British researchers found wearing high heels regularly over the course of a person’s life can actually shorten calf muscles by 13 percent. Can you believe that? This shortening of the calves causes discomfort even after the person takes off the high heels. Skeletal changes happen over long period of wearing. This include alterations of the spine and overuse of lumbar erector spinae muscle, which cause lower back pain. If people wear them long enough, high heels cause pelvic anteversion that could cause nerve damage. Remember nerves do not regenerate. Scary, right?

 

One could be reading this and thinking of never wearing high heels again. Well, do not worry. We, women still have the right to choose to wear high heels on a date, wedding or even a night-out. Ideally ditching high heels is for the best, but it is difficult. You can wear high heels, just be careful.

 

Follow the bellow mentioned precautions, and your risk for developing negative health effects will be reduced.

 

  • Don’t tempt to wear high heels every day, remember health comes first
  • If you choose to wear high heels, choose the right ones. Make sure they are comfortable, not too high and not narrow, tight-pointed.
  • If your work or the daily activity requires long periods of standing or walking, switch to sneakers.
  • Trim toenail before wearing high heels. This prevents ingrown toe nails. These could be a problem, as doctors tend to peel the nails to fix them.
  • After wearing high heels, relax your legs by soaking them in warm water and massaging your calves. These relaxes your contracted calf muscles and prevent them from shortening.
  • Never, ever wear high heels that are not your size.
  • When wearing high heels find time to sit down and stretch your calf muscles.
  • Remember, shorter the heel is the lesser the pressure will be on the knees.

 

Wearing high heels all the time might not be a wise choice for your health. Research suggests women aged from 20-30 wear high heels the most compared to other groups, the number of women who wear high heels often decreased compared to 1980s. However, we still like to wear high heels to special occasions. 77% of women who are attending a special occasion choose to wear high heels. I, too would definitely choose to wear high heels and bear the pain if I am attending a wedding. Wearing high heels sometimes would probably have no serious effects as long as we remember to choose the right height, right size and take some precautions. Have fun but healthy experience with heels.

 

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