Sure, those killer heels hold pride of place in your closet, but the fact is that these heels are no less than killers. It’s a fact that one out of 10 women will wear extremely high heels at least 3 days each week. Of these, 1/3rd will have lost balance and fallen while they were wearing heels. Statistics indicate that wearing high heels is one of the major factors that lead to foot and back pain in women.

Prolonged wear only aggravates the problem and one third of women who can’t part from their heels end up suffering from chronic back and leg pain. There is absolutely no doubt about the fact that wearing high heels frequently is nothing less than setting yourself up for chronic back pain. After all, your heels, toes, calves, leg tendons, ankles and your back, all have to strain a lot to ensure you are able to balance yourself on those 6″ high heels you picked up from your favourite store.

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How the back pain occurs

When you wear any type of high heels (shoes that have heels more than 2″ in height or higher), it makes your foot slide forward into your shoe; this forces your toes into a very unnatural shape. The entire length of your legs and lower back gets stressed. Since the weight on your toes increases when you wear heels, your body automatically tilts forward. In an attempt to compensate for that movement, you tend to overarch your back & lean forward.

In effect, this creates a posture which ends up straining your ankles, knees, hips as well as your lower back. When this posture change happens, the position of your spine pressurises the nerves in your lower back; this causes sciatica; in this condition, the nerves that get compressed, trigger numbness & pain that radiates down into the feet.

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Things to do

Consistently wearing high heels for many years, shortens the calf muscles as well as the lower back muscles which causes all those muscle spasms and pain that many women experience. So, does this mean you have to give up wearing those sinfully high heels that you know are made just for you? Well, not really; you don’t have to altogether give up wearing heels. The different things you can do are:

  • Choose your footwear sensibly; opt for shoes that have low heels – the ideal heel height is 1- 1 ½”; the heel base should be wider as well. When you wear a thicker heel, it helps in more even distribution of weight. When you wear stiletto-style heels, they just can’t provide your feet and back the support they need
  • Wearing soft insoles will reduce the impact of the imbalance, on your knees
  • Buy right-sized shoes – this will ensure your feet don’t slide forward and put excessive pressure on your legs and back.
  • It’s far better to wear heels on the days on which you aren’t going to be doing too much of walking and standing.
  • Days on which you are wearing heels, make it a point to stretch your muscles. This includes your toe, calf and back muscles. Bend down occasionally, and touch your feet to release the pressure on your back.

The best way to avert foot, leg and back pain is to give those high heels a break every once in a while. It will ensure that your muscles don’t protest and that the pain in your leg or back doesn’t become chronic.

For any more information about how you can avoid back pain, call New Body Physiotherapy and Postural Management at this number – 02 9958 2277. You can also use this contact us form to connect with us.

Best Regards,
Corey Iskenderian