In the world of style, stilettos form a quintessential section of the footwear closet. From a special occasion wear, high heels are snuggly finding their ways into daily life as office wears or shopping companions. High heel trends are ensuring their wear by millions of women without knowing their long term effects. These are-
1. Foot pain
Shoes with a heel of two inches or higher, slides the foot forward in the shoe, forcing the toes into the unnatural shape of the shoe & redistributing the weight incorrectly, by resting the whole body weight on the balls of your feet.
2. Low-back ache
The increased weight on the toes causes the body to tilt forward, and to compensate this, one tends lean backwards, leading to exaggerated low back arch. This change in position of spine puts pressure on nerves in the back & may cause sciatica (a condition where the nerves get compressed, triggers pain & numbness in the leg).
3. Ankle sprain
There are potholes, cobblestone roads, air vents, drainage gates, and so many other things that are just waiting to latch onto the pointy tip of pair of high heel shoes .
4. Foot deformity
Beginning as a bunion (bony swelling at base joint of big toe), leading to deformity as big toe angles inwards towards other toes. Hammer toe may also occur.
5. Early arthritis of knee
Increased pressure on inside of the knee leads to early degenerative changes.
6. Shortened calf muscle
Morton’s neuroma or nerve thickening on the underside of the foot due to high heels with narrow toes, leading to toe pain & numbness.
DO YOU HAVE TO GIVE UP YOUR HEELS?
NO, but to avoid the problems that develop over time, you can take the following precautions:
Choose sensible heels; select shoes with low heels, an inch and half or less-a wide heel base, a slightly thicker heel will spread the load more evenly. Narrow stiletto type heels provide little support. Three inches and higher heels may shorten the Achilles tendon.
Wear soft insoles to reduce the impact of heels.
Make sure that your shoes are the right size, so the foot doesn’t slide forward, putting even more pressure on the toes. Pick a shoe with wide enough toe box that allows toes to spread well.
Wear heels on days that require limited walking or standing.
Alternate your shoe choice throughout the day or from one day to the next.
Don’t wear high heels all the day. Wear comfortable shoes such as walking or athletic shoes while commuting to & fro from the work. Wearing shoes that allow body to move naturally during walking will allow feet, legs, hips & back to stretch.
Stretch; take time every day to stretch the calf muscle & feet. Standing on the edge of the step with shoes off. You can also put a pencil on the floor & try to pick it up with your toes.
FINAL WORD ON FOOT HEALTH
Don’t let the sense of style cripple your ability to stand or step pain-free. Feet are base of support, if they are not happy, nothing above them will be. Take a closer look at your shoe selection & take small steps now to prevent big foot problems later.