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Monday, January 16, 2012

High Heel Shoes Are Bad News!

Did you know that approximately 3.5 billion dollars are spent each year in the United States for women’s foot surgery? In addition to that enormous cost, the female workforce misses 15 million work days each year because of foot injuries and surgeries. WOW! The BIGGEST culprit in this figure is the high heel shoe. It’s no secret that a high heel shoe can look sexy and stylish, and we are all guilty of wearing them, but what women don’t realize is the long term health consequences they come with. Unlike sore feet, things like bunions and osteoarthritis do not go away over night, and that’s exactly the type of foot problems our 4 inch stilettos come with.

High heels shift your center of gravity forward so that your hips and spine are pushed out of alignment. Altered posture caused by wearing high heels leads to increased pressure on the inside of the knee. Repeated stress in this area dramatically increases the chances of developing osteoarthritis. If you’re in the habit of wearing high heels regularly the Achilles tendon will start to shorten over time. A short, tight Achilles tendon increases the risk of injuries such as Achilles tendinitis and plantar fasciitis. The heel elevation also causes the calf muscle to contract. If heels are worn consistently, calf muscles can become short and weak, which promotes injury. The combination of cramped toe boxes and the downward angle of the high heel can cause foot deformities and injuries including bunions, hammertoes, Morton’s neuroma, plantar fasciitis and Achilles tendinitis. Yikes!

If you MUST have your high heels, consider styles that will reduce risk of injury or foot deformities. Get a shoe with a rubber sole instead of leather. They offer extra flexibility and increase your grip on the floor. Also, try to choose a shoe with a wider heel. While it won’t help much to alleviate the stress on your knees, at least you will have a wider base to stand on which will distribute your weight more evenly than a stiletto would. The highest your heels should be is 2 inches. Less is even better, but 2 inches should be your limit. These shoes will give you enough lift to show off your legs and reduce the risk of foot injuries and deformities.

Platforms are a great way to create the illusion of height without all the risk. Because the forefoot is elevated as well, you don’t have such an incline forcing the foot into a very uncomfortable position. Choose heels that allow your toes to lay flat in the shoe such as a round or square toe box. Lastly, only purchase heels that have a thumbs-width of space from the longest toe to the end of the shoe when you are standing.Link

1 comment:

Allen Hill said...

When you wear high heels, the length of the muscle between your heel and your knee is shortened. While wearing high heels, pulling that muscle isn't a problem. However, if you are running on flat feet, it is much easier to pull or strain your calves.

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