With party season approaching, ladies are likely to be high heel searching! However, there are many problems associated with wearing high heels. Beyond the traditional parental warning of “you’ll break your ankle in those!”, there are many other issues, seen every day by professionals, that are caused by high heel wearing.
High heels are the worst possible shoes for feet. When heels are excessively high, the ball of the foot absorbs the full amount of pressure on the foot and the weight of the body on this one area can cause a huge range of problems, including bunions, aching and tired feet, and a burning sensation in the balls of the feet.
From a Chiropractic point of view as the fashion for higher and higher heels grows, so does the range of foot problems we see occurring. Conditions such as bunions are becoming more prevalent as women opt for skyscraper heels and the higher the heel, the greater the risk of falling and causing serious injury.
“The height of the heel is directly proportionate to the increase in pressure on the ball of the foot and to how short each stride becomes. It’s not uncommon to hear notorious high heel wearers complaining of bunions. High heels, especially those with pointed toes, force the foot to slide forwards, so that all the weight of the body is on this part of the foot. This crams the toes together and pushes the big toe in toward the other toes. Over time, this repetitive action can cause a permanent distortion, called Hallux Valgus as the foot tries to change its shape to fit such shoes. To protect the area a fluid filled sack builds up over the area called a bunion, when this becomes inflamed it can be very painful.”
“Wearing high heels can also cause issues beyond the feet. High heels cause the calf muscle fibres to shorten, even when not wearing heels. In a person who wears heels most of the time, the foot and leg positioning that is adopted in heels becomes the default position for the joints and the structures within the leg and foot.”
“As a Chiropractor my advice is not to wear heels or flat shoes all the time, but both in moderation. Wearing a variety of heel heights will help to get the calf muscles used to change. Also, if you wear heels day-to-day, kick them off wherever possible to allow your foot to relax back to a better position. So, enjoy heels during party season but give your feet some TLC, too, allowing them time to recover between festivities.”
There is more information on the website about factors affecting the health of you and your family, including our FootBalance custom-made insoles information.
Lucy Benning – Chiropractor