It’s like hair straighteners, cheap nail polish, and doughnuts – you know they aren’t good for you, but you can’t help loving and wanting them. Stilettos and pumps can drastically alter your appearance, accentuating your curves and giving you the grace and poise of a princess.
Of course, all of this comes at a price – as any woman knows, wearing high heels is far from painless and comfortable, but it seems like a fair trade! This is why, despite the fact that high heels are an enduring symbol of oppression, subjugation, and objectification of women, most young feminists will still have stilettos in their closets.
But, high heels can quite literally kill you, and not quick and painlessly, but slowly and agonizingly, by giving rise to a variety of health problems.
Dangers Of High Heels
1. High Heel Risks For The Feet
The human foot did not evolve for high heels; in fact the very act of wearing shoes could be considered unnatural, as we did not evolve with footwear! No other species in the animal kingdom needs to use foot wear. Human feet are actually incredibly tough, giving you spring like action, distributing weight, absorbing impact, and shielding the musculoskeletal structure from impact.
When you wear those ultra fashionable high heels however, the balance is thrown out of whack completely, with much of your body mass bearing down on the balls of the feet and those delicate toe bones. Some studies have shown that higher stilettos can increase stress on the feet by around 30 percent.
This effects changes to natural stride that increase the risk of ingrown toenails and blisters, while your feet could also suffer long term bone and nerve damage.
2. High Heel Risks For The Ankles
Think you look great in those Jimmy Choos now, but wait until you start to develop ugly spider veins and have to hide your lovely legs. Because of the unnatural forward bend of the ankles from wearing high heels, circulation in the lower limbs is restricted, significantly increasing the risk of varicose veins.
The awkward positioning of the ankles also causes a stiffening of the Achilles tendon, the connecting ligament between the calves and the heels.
This results in unnatural compression of calf muscles and over time can cause chronic tightness and reduction in the length of ankle and calf tendons, making it difficult to walk even in flats.
3. High Heel Risks For The Knees
Knee problems can be incredibly painful and debilitating, as you really can’t get around if you can’t move the knees. As the body’s largest joint, your knees are built for endurance and they can take a lot, but apparently high heels are just too much even for the knees.
Frequent use of high heeled shoes is associated with deterioration of the cartilage and weakening of the joint, increasing the risk of knee osteoarthritis, as demonstrated in a study that appeared in the Journal of Orthopaedic Research.
This is because heel use puts excessive stress on the inner sides of the knees, accelerating natural wear and tear. As shown by the researchers, the risk increases even further with obesity or weight gain.
4. High Heel Risks For The Hips
High heels are so bad for balance and thoroughly impractical that anyone who has never used them before would simply tip over if they tried a pair on. To stay in balance, you have to change your posture completely, thrusting the hips forward, arching the back, and pushing out the chest.
Yes, it gives you an irresistibly sexy appearance, but it’s completely unnatural and will also give you chronic hip pain.
5. High Heel Risks For The Spine
Love the way those runway models sway while walking in those oh so high heels? It’s no surprise, but there is nothing natural about the sway required to walk in high heels. A study published in the American Journal of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation demonstrates that this mode of walking actually stresses the lumbar erector spinae muscle, increasing lower back problems.
This is precisely why almost all women who use high heels frequently suffer from lower back pain. Some studies show that regular use of high heels can also cause foraminal stenosis, a spinal nerve condition involving narrowing of the spinal canal. This results in chronic pain, numbness, muscle loss, spasms, and cramping. It is also associated with sciatica problems.
As with every other unhealthy addiction and habit that we love, it’s important to exercise some amount of restraint and moderation. While you don’t need to toss out your stilettos, make sure to only use them for short periods of time, such as when you’re at a social occasion.
In such cases to, make sure to carry your heels in a bag and only use them once you get to your venue. Also make sure to never use high pumps or stilettos on a daily basis.
At all other times, make sure to pamper your feet thoroughly with massages and soaks, and only buying footwear designed for comfort and with great arch support.
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February 21, 2018