High Heels Can Harm You

Recently, I’ve attended several events and traveled to several cities, where I saw many women wearing very high heels that rose two, three, even four or five inches off the ground. Admittedly, I may be a little envious since I can’t wear  high heels myself (due to pronated feet and two ankle injuries), but I began worrying about the millions of smart, suave, sophisticated ladies, who may be causing irreparable damage, all because they want to look chic.

Undoubtedly you’ve seen or are among those women, who walk awkwardly, tilt forward while standing, and aren’t comfortable in their own shoes.

So just how dangerous are high heels? You’ll be astounded.

[shareable cite=”Connie Bennett”]A whopping 71 percent of high heel wearers have pain. Is looking good worth it?[/shareable]

The pain doesn’t seem to matter. Close to half of women (49 percent)  wear high heels, according to the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA)

I’m not advocating ditching your high heels. But limiting wearing them makes sense. Matthew Garoufalis, DPM and past president of the APMA agrees.  “With high heels, moderation is key.  It’s best not to wear them every day,” he wrote in an May 19, 2014, APMA article.

Why are high heels so dangerous? To begin, they put your ankle joint in an unnatural position by forcing your foot into plantar flexion (flexing your toes or foot downward in the direction of the sole of your foot).

Now before you dismiss my concerns about high heels as crazy, consider some of recent findings:

Not only that, but high heels cause excessive lordosis (inward curving of the spine), according to says D. Troy Trimble, D.O., from The Orthopaedic Institute in Gainesville, Florida.

And that, as I’ve discovered, can cause back pain.

In fact, low back pain is the leading cause of disability globally according to the Global Burden of Disease 2010.

Other foot conditions linked to high heels aren’t pretty either. You can get:

  • Corns
  • Calluses
  • Achilles tendon tightness
  • Plantar fasciitis- inflammation of the plantar fascia ligament which runs along the bottom of the foot and attaches to the heel
  • Haglund’s deformity- a protrusion from the back of the heel due to increased pressure on the heel bone
  • Ankle Injuries
  • Metatarsalgia- pain and inflammation of the ball of the foot
  • Hammer Toes- curled toes due to bends in the middle of the toe joint
  • Morton’s Neuroma- thickening of the tissue surrounding a nerve that leads to your toes. It can cause a burning pain in the bottom of the foot.

Sure, when you wear high heels, you and your outfit may look amazing.  But should fashion trump function?

Please join the conversation. Have high heels caused you pain? Will you continue to wear them anyhow?

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4 thoughts on “High Heels Can Harm You

  1. Spent a year in flats post surgical repair of a broken ankle. When I wore sensible heels to a recent event I felt like a cripple! I wasn’t aware of the forced plantar flexion finding-no wonder I was compromised-I’ve lost several degrees of plantar flexion post injury. My former fashionista will have to be retired!

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