High heels…Is it for a explicit and implicit compulsion ?
Do you love wearing high heels? Do you feel your party ensemble is incomplete without your favorite stilettos? From the last few decades wearing high heels has not only become a fashion but an essential part of women’s personality with regard to figure, posture and indeed attraction. But, are you aware of the health risks associated with wearing those striking heels?. Well studies and reviews have provided evidence that high heels are detrimental to health. In a long term basis these towering shoes can be costly in more ways than one, taking their toll on your spine, hips, knees, ankles and feet while altering your posture and walking pattern.
Postural changes while wearing high heels
When a woman wears her heels her body tries to attempt to compensate for the off-kilter balance heels caused by forward bending the hips and spine. In order to maintain balance, the calf, hip and back muscles become tense. The changes observed are:
- Forward chest
- Forward lower back, influencing on the hips and spine alignment.
- Posterior and uplifted potion of the pelvis
- Excess anterior pressure placed on knees
- Excessive pressure exerted on the forefoot
- Pressure on the foot nails
The high heels do not give complete support to your feet. It causes an unequal distribution of weight that may trigger soreness, inflammation and pain in the lower back . At the end of the day, this makes excess muscle fatigue and strain.
Circulation also plays another vital role.
For proper functioning of our circulatory system, there is an ideal position of the feet that keeps the normal functioning of the circulatory system i.e. Feet flat on the ground for efficient blood pumping. This is the reason why heels having a height of >6cm are harmful to health, they increase the pressure that the body exerts on the feet. Besides, the fact that the heel is raised causes the center of gravity of the body to be thrown forward, which results in an inadequate weight distribution, increasing stress on the knee joint. Furthermore, it usually occurs the increase of the lordosis to compensate the inclination and shortening of the muscles of the calf, generating pain and limitation when it’s without the high heel.
Problems encountered in a long term use of heels
- Lower Back Pain
- Sore Calves
- Foot Pain
- Ankle Sprains
- Deviated Spinal Curve
- Constriction of blood vessels
- Crooked Feet
- Weakens Ligaments
- Knee Pain
- Hyperextension of Toes
- Muscle weakness
Ways to prevent yourself from further problems
- Firstly try avoiding wearing high heels for long period of time,
- Remember to stretch leg muscles (hamstings, quadriceps, gastronemius and soleus) before and after putting them on.
- Try to set the limit of the shoes not more than two inches.
- Buy shoes in the afternoon when feet are at their largest.
- Avoid using the pointed heels.
- Opt for shoes with insoles to keep foot from slipping.
- Try using wedge heels with greater base of support.
Exercises before and after wearing heels
Seated Hamstring Stretch
Sit on the floor with your right leg extended in front of you. Bend your left leg so your left foot rests against your right inner thigh. Lean forward and slowly reach for your ankle until you feel a stretch in the back of your leg. Keep your chest up and sit bones on the floor; you should be stretching from your hips, not your back. Hold for 15 seconds. Switch legs and repeat on the opposite side.
Stand at arm’s length facing a wall. Step forward with your right foot; keep both feet flat on the floor. Place your hands on the wall at chest-height. Press your right knee toward the wall so you feel a stretch in your left calf. Hold two seconds, then release the stretch. That’s one rep. Do eight reps per leg.
Grab a small, hard ball, such as a tennis, lacrosse, or golf ball. Place the ball under your foot. Roll the ball up and down your foot, focusing on the arch. Control the intensity by shifting your weight. Roll for one minute per foot.
Standing on your right leg, raise your right knee to hip height; grab your thigh for support
(A)Moving only at your ankle, slowly trace a circle with your toes (B, C). Do five circles per foot aniti-clock wise and clock wise both the direction.
Start lying face up on the floor. Bend your knees and place your feet flat on the floor
(A)Lift your hips so that you form a straight line from your knees to your chest
(B) Squeeze your butt for one second, then return to the starting position.
That’s one rep. Do three sets of 20 reps. Rest one minute between sets.
Well no matter what no one can stop a woman from wearing her high heels but no matter what always remember that no beauty is greater than a healthy body.