What Can Happen to Your Body If You Wear High Heels Every Day
Wearing high heels makes you stand taller and feel prettier, according to experts. But you should not forget that your health is more important than anything, and few centimeters of height by way of heels might cause some serious health issues in the long run.
Bright Side cares about your health, so we want to make you aware of the consequences when wearing high heels too often or for long periods of time. We have prepared a special exercise for you in the bonus section.
1. You may have back pain.
Have you ever found yourself leaning forward after wearing your high heels all day long? This happens because you feel the need to release the pressure on your back. Your back has a C-curve shape in a normal position. When you wear high heels, you change the shape of the spine, and, over time, it can wear off the cartilage on your discs, joints, and ligaments in your back.
2. You may put extra pressure on your feet.
Your natural balance is distorted when wearing heels. So you might experience extra pressure on the balls of your feet which can affect your walking speed, stride length, and gait.
3. You may damage your knees.
Because of excessive knee torque (force of rotation) and compression, your knees are more prone to being torn when you wear high heels. The “wear-and-tear arthritis,” known as knee osteoarthritis, happens much more often to women than to men, and wearing high heels is one of the main reasons for this.
4. Your ankles may suffer.
Your calf muscles may suffer due to the excessive height, so your ankles might find it more difficult to move the foot forward while you walk. Plus, since the ankle is not in its normal position, the Achilles tendon might get contracted. Over time, you might experience an inflammatory condition that goes by the name of insertional Achilles tendonitis.
5. Your hips may be affected.
If you wear high heels early on, you might have hip pain later, according to a study. Your hip flexor muscles are forced to stay in a persistent flexed position, and this muscle contraction may give you some health issues over time.
6. Your pinky toenail may become thin and brittle.
You can experience cosmetic problems as well, not just health-related ones. Being “crushed” inside those shoes, your toenails will not be very happy, especially your pinky toenail. In time, it can become either thin and brittle, or thick and difficult to cut. That’s why some women even choose to undergo medical procedures to be able to keep wearing their high heels.
7. Ingrown toenails may become a thing.
If you already have ingrown toenails, then you might want to think twice when wearing high heels. It can make the condition worse, and it can cause pain, redness, or even infection. If you’ve never experienced this, wearing heels may create the proper environment to develop it.
8. You may develop hammertoe.
Due to an imbalance of the muscles, tendons, and ligaments, you may develop something called hammertoe, which is a foot deformity. Hammertoe is caused by the fact that your toes don’t stay in their natural form because they are “squeezed in” inside the front part of the shoe.
9. You may have to deal with varicose veins.
When you stand on your high heels, the blood doesn’t pump through your veins as it should normally because of the contracted calf muscle. So you might develop varicose veins over time. If you already have visible signs of them, then a pair of sneakers is recommended.
10. You’re not as flexible as normal.
Your posture has to suffer because of all the things listed above, so you may not be able to be as flexible and mobile as you would normally be. The increased tightness on your muscles might hinder your everyday activities, like running up and down the stairs, going for a walk, or jogging. So it’s recommended that you massage your feet every now and then.
BONUS: Try the high heel stretch!
There is a stretch that you can do before and after long periods of wearing high heels. The stretching routine looks like this:
- Place a one-inch thick book on the floor.
- Place the ball of your right foot on the book and your heel on the ground.
- Bend forward and try to grab the book (you can bend your knees).
- Hold for 30 seconds, then switch feet. Repeat 2 or 3 times.
Do you prefer high heels or sneakers? If you like the elegant shoes, how long do you usually wear them?