Every woman loves a good pair of heels. They instantly class up any outfit and can make your legs look like they go on for miles (we’re not all born with supermodel stilts). And sometimes we suffer through the pain just to look good. An average woman tends to get intense pain after merely only a few hours of sporting heels. But hey, you remember that time at the club when your feet hurt so much, but dancing in them anyways was your immediate decision?
We rationalize that it gives us a solid calf workout, but never really acknowledge the negative side effects even when we begin to feel it instantly. So why do we ignore the pain and keep strutting along? Could it be vanity or insanity? Who knows, but what you should know are some of the short and long term side effects of wearing heels.
Keep this advice in mind the next time you put on that sexy pair of stilettos, and remember to stash a pair of fold-able flats into your purse for later.
Short and Long Term Side Effects of Wearing Heels
When you walk, your heels are the first part of your foot that hits the floor and absorbs all of the shock. There’s some crazy level of padding in your heels that allows them to redistribute the effect of slamming onto the ground. When you wear heels, you move the shock absorbing center from the heels down to your toes – where there is significantly less padding.
All of this constant pounding on your toes can cause a lot of pain. You’ll start to change your stride to accommodate for the pain and may even start tip toe-ing around all day long. Your change in stride can cause bone and nerve damage which in the long run may not be fixable.
So keep in mind that the short term side effects may eventually lead to a permanent situation.
If your toes are feeling dandy, and you’re getting a nice calf workout, you may run into the dreaded leg cramp. Cramps in your calves are not fun and can last anywhere from a few seconds to a few minutes.
If you’ve ever had a charley horse then you know what we’re talking about.
The forward tilt of your ankle also causes your calf muscles to scrunch up and remain in that position all day while you’re at the office. Have you ever noticed how weird it feels to walk on flat feet after a whole day of heels? That’s from the stiffening of your Achilles tendon that scrunched up your heel. Over time, the constant wear of heels can actually shrink your calf muscle.
But the damage doesn’t stop at your calves. The shock from walking is also absorbed by tendons in your knees, that are strained into a different angle when you walk in heels. Constant heel wearing can fast track the onset of osteoarthritis. You don’t want pain in your knees when you’re 40 and walking in flats do you?
We didn’t forget the main part of your body that supports you, the back. When your stride changes as you walk about, it also affects your spine. Your hips sashay forward as your thrust your chest out in order to regain the center of balance from tilting forward. This puts a lot of stress onto your spine and can cause soreness in the lower back area. Give your back a break by switching in between days of heels and days of flats.
So make sure to give your feet some love and give them a break whenever you have a chance. After all, you’re only born with one pair, so show them some love!
[quote_center]How often do you wear heels, and how do you deal with foot pain?[/quote_center]
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