There are various reasons why women wear high-heeled footwear. Some women wear heels to look taller while others wear it to make a style statement. Whatever the reason may be, one should be aware of the effects that it has on the body. Normally, high heels are 2 to 6 inches high. The problems caused due to constantly using high heels vary according to the length of the heel, shorter the heel lesser is the problem. Following segment deals with the effects of high heels on the body.
Adverse Effects High Heels
Though wearing high-heeled shoes is in vogue today, it can cause pain tomorrow. Using high-heeled shoes too often, for a very long time can have harmful effects on the body. It can cause shortening of the calf muscles, flattening of the arch of the foot which can result into chronic postural problems. It affects the normal body structure and disturbs its comfortable posture. Hence, women who wear high heels for the first time may suffer from foot pain and awkwardness while walking. Even the feet get tired after a while as you are not into the habit of it. It affects your back severely. This leads to various physical complications which are pretty serious. Following are some major areas affected due to the use of high-heeled shoes:
Body alignment is very important to have an erect posture. The spinal cord is the most important part of the human body. It supports the body and helps to maintain a straight posture and so does the lower back. It acts as the center of the body and helps you to stand and walk normally. High heels disrupt this normal posture making it a little curved. A high-heeled shoe puts your foot in a downward pointed position, putting more pressure on the forefoot. This forces you to adjust the rest of the body in order to maintain balance. The lower part of the body leans forward because of the downward pointing position of the foot. Hence, the upper part needs to lean backwards to keep you balanced. This is not the normal posture of your body.
As mentioned earlier, high heels affect the lower back portion of the body severely. It causes lumbar (low back) spine flattening. The body is forced to lean forward making the hip muscles work more than normal to enable walking. This may lead to shortening of the hip flexor muscles (located on the upper part of your thighs) causing contracture (flattening of the spine). But, some experts believe that everyone does not suffer from back pain. It occurs in women who already display the signs of backache and other back problems.
Normally, when a person walks, he/she keeps his/her knees straight. Walking in high heels disturbs their alignment. The result, women walking with bent knees. Osteoarthritis is a chronic disease of knee-joint. Women are more prone to this disorder than men. Constant use of high heels is often a cause of it. It is better to avoid using high heels if you are suffering from osteoarthritis.
The downward position of the foot puts an increased pressure on the forefoot resulting into foot deformities like neuromas, bunions, hammer toes and bunionettes. Hammer toe is also known as claw toe where there is an imbalance between the pull of the top and bottom tendons.
Wearing High Heels During Pregnancy
During pregnancy, women have to take care of their physical health. The posture of the body is altered and the lady has to carry herself safely. Maintaining body balance while walking with high heels during pregnancy is not possible. The ligaments that control the lower back and the muscles around are softened and stretched because of an increased ovarian. These already weakened ligaments are at a higher risk of getting damaged due to high-heeled shoes because it alters your posture putting extra strain on them. Therefore flat shoes are a better option during pregnancy because it will keep you comfortable avoiding complications and dangerous consequences. But, there are some women who cannot even think of wearing flat shoes. Wearing flat shoes gives them the feeling of naked feet. For them, it is better to use heels of about 2 to 3 inches maximum.
If you are a high-heel pro, make sure you take some of these precautionary measures while wearing them. Following are some tips that will guide you while using high heels:
- You should try to use a shorter heel like 1 to 2 inches high because it won't cause much problems or the problems caused can be easily recovered.
- Try wearing high heels on occasions where you will not be on your feet for long time i.e., you should be in a comfortable sitting position which will avoid pressure on your feet.
- Generally, in a high heel shoe design, the toe of the shoe is pointed which crushes the toe of the feet to a great extent. Also the heel is so high that the weight of the body automatically falls on the toe which can cause great pain. The best option to overcome this problem is to wear open toe shoes which allows your toe some movement and relaxation.
- Always choose a size larger than usual and insert heel cups in the back of the shoe to get a better and comfortable fit.
Feet are obviously more important than fashion trends. Trends, exists today, exhaust tomorrow, but the feet will carry you everywhere for lifetime. You should treat them nicely. You are not asked to stop using high heels completely, rather to decide the right time and occasion to wear it.