7 Reasons to Ditch High Heels
Think you look sexy in those stilettos and hot in those heels? It could be at the expense of your health. Here are 7 reasons to ditch the heels and opt for some of the sexy new flat and low-heeled shoes instead.
1. Low Back Pain–“High heels force you to walk with the pelvis arched forward causing hyperlordosis (backward bending) of the lumbar spine,” says chiropractor and acupuncturist Dr. Robert Laquerre at Alta Vista Chiropractic in Ottawa, Canada. This unnatural curvature of the spine places excessive stress and strain on the low back which may result in low back pain.
2. Knee Strain and Arthritis–Some studies have linked high heels to an increased risk of knee strain and arthritis in the knees. In a study published in the The Lancet, Harvard researchers linked wearing high heels with a height around 2.7 inches to a 24 percent increase in knee strain.
3. Fatigue and Reduced Blood Flow to the Brain–Heels over 2 inches high can “increase muscular tension throughout the lower extremity, constricting blood vessels and limiting blood supply to muscles and to the brain,” says Dr. Laquerre. The result? “This can lead to a reduced flow of oxygen and nutrients to surrounding muscles and possibly the brain thereby contributing to an increased fatigue feeling.”
4. Nerve Irritation—The increased pressure in the low back region can cause a compacting effect on the spine along with nerve irritation. These nerves support the proper functioning of many organs and tissues
5. Bunions—In research, high heels have been linked to bunions. Bunions are a deformation that occurs usually at the base of the large toe, causing the normally straight toe to become directed towards the smaller toes. Bunions can cause swelling, redness, and pain.
6. Foot Pain—In addition to bunions, Dr. Laquerre says that high heels have been linked to other foot problems, including: metatarsalgia (pain in the ball of the foot) and Morton’t neuroma—a thickening of tissue around a nerve between the third and forth toes.
7. Problems with Ankles, Pelvis, and Spine—“Wearing high heels greater than 2 inches can create faulty biomechanics and unnecessary stress on your on your ankles, knees, pelvis, and your spine,” adds Dr. Laquerre.
The solution? Dr. Laquerre suggests “Try lower heels for less stress and strain in the low back region (and other parts of the body). Wear heels for shorter periods of time and take breaks from heels.”