Let’s face it! High heels are sexy. They make your legs look thinner and longer. And you know that song “Pretty hurts” (I think it was Beyonce’s). Well, if you’ve been wondering what high heels can do to your body, besides the occasional discomfort here’s the short version: it’s not pretty (or healthy for that matter).
Wearing high heels throws the body out of alignment. And it’s not just about heel pain – wearing them for too long can lead to pain all the way up to your neck which is kinda’ scary, right?
What Wearing High Heels Can Do To Your Body
As it turns out, wearing high heels often over the course of a life can shorten calf muscles up to 13%.
A set of statistics collected by the University of Alabama at Birmingham shows approximately 7.32 women out of 100,000 suffer high heel-related injuries that require hospital treatment.
Obviously, the higher the heels the difficult it is to maintain balance, especially when walking fast and/or on uneven terrain. Some of the most common injuries caused by wearing high heels are ankle sprains and strains. However, the risk is somewhat smaller when wearing lower, half-inch heels.
But that’s not all. The position of your feet in high heels create chronic pressure on the big toenails, which can lead to ingrown toenails.
While back pain might seem like nothing compared to the problems mentioned above, they are also a sign your body’s entire posture has become imbalanced and it can only get worse over time if you continue to regularly wear high heels.
Wearing high heels during teen years seems to have the most damaging impact on posture which can even lead to nerve damage.
If you’ve been wondering what wearing high heels does to your body these are just a few of the effects. We’re barely scratching the surface here but I think it’s enough to make you reconsider wearing them regularly and try to focus on comfortable footwear. I’m not saying you should wear sneakers with a business suit, but there are options with no heels or very low heels that still look amazing.
How To Reverse Damage Caused By Wearing High Heels
The best thing you could do is to quit wearing them for good. But that would be difficult for many people. Nevertheless, there are a few things you can do to minimize the negative effects of wearing high heels.
- Don’t wear high heels every day
- Avoid wearing tight-pointed and narrow high heels
- Don’t stand or walk for long periods in high heels
- Regularly stretch your calf muscles to avoid them from shortening
- Make sure you trim your toenails straight across to prevent ingrown toenails
I must admit, I don’t really wear high heels unless it’s a special occasion and I need to dress fancy. But if I’d have to wear them at the office I’d probably have a pair of sneakers on hand and use them while sitting at the desk or any other time I could give up the high heels.
For someone like me who doesn’t wear high heels often, the moment when I do wear them are definitely a pain. And trust me, I do my best to choose the comfiest heels I can find (a bit lower and thicker if possible and certainly not tight-pointed). So if you’ve been wearing them often you might have gotten used to the pain but stop ignoring it. Your body is trying to tell your something, and it’s important!