Contact a licensed podiatric medical professional for help and insights
Keeping up with the latest fashions can be a pain in the neck … or your feet, in the case of perennially on-trend high-heeled shoes.
A 2014 national survey by the American Podiatric Medical Association found the average woman who owns high heels owns nine pairs. However, respondents in the very same survey also admitted this beloved shoe style hurts their feet.
But beyond just foot pain, fashionistas should know the top-10 side effects of wearing high heels, as recently compiled by StyleCraze:
- Lower back pain—High heels don’t give complete support to your feet, causing an unequal distribution of weight that may trigger soreness, inflammation and pain in the lower back.
- Sore calves—Sore calf muscles are another side effect of high heels. What’s more, the heels also can lead to protruding calf veins, which not only are unsightly but also uncomfortable.
- Foot pain—High heels and stilettos have a certain shape and design that look fashionable but are ultimately painful. A day on your feet in these unnaturally shaped shoes often leads to foot aches, coupled with sharp pains in your toes, sole, arches, or heels.
- Ankle sprains—Potholes, bumps, and cobblestones can be potential party-poopers waiting for you to slip and sprain your ankle. Apart from the ankle sprain, a fall like this can also lead to broken ankles and bruised elbows and knees. If you land awkwardly, you might even suffer a concussion.
- Awkward spinal curvature—High heels make the lower back arch out more than usual. In fact, the height of the heel is directly proportional to the degree of arch in your back. The awkward arch can cause nasty pains in the upper and lower back regions.
- Constriction of blood vessels—High heels usually make the feet appear longer and thinner. The shoe shape squeezes the foot into a position that certainly isn’t natural and is anything but comfortable. The stress on your foot can result in a constricted blood flow. In extreme cases, it may cause the blood vessels to break.
- Hammertoe—Hammertoe is one of the most dangerous side effects of high heels on feet. The unnatural position of the foot plus the strain on calves, blood vessels, and back result in this painful foot deformity.
- Weakened ligaments—High heels weaken your foot, ankle, and leg ligaments.
- Knee pain—The awkward curvature of the leg while wearing high heels puts too much pressure on the knee joint, which can lead to osteoarthritis.
- Toe hyperextension—Frequently wearing high heels can fix your toes in permanent hyperextension.
So the next time you open the closet door, consider grabbing the ballet flats or ankle booties. And if you have questions about the best footwear for you, as well as overall foot and ankle health, Department of Consumer Affairs’ Podiatric Medical Board of California licensees can help. Find out more about these professionals’ services, education, and licensure at www.pmbc.ca.gov, and to check a professional’s license, visit https://search.dca.ca.gov.
Related Reading: Step Into Podiatric Medicine