Tuesday, 09 January 2024 00:00

High Heels and Their Impact on Foot Posture

High heels, synonymous with style and sophistication, often come at a cost to foot health, profoundly influencing foot posture. The elevated heel forces a redistribution of body weight, prompting a forward tilt of the pelvis and altering the natural curvature of the spine. This shift places increased pressure on the balls of the feet, and may lead to conditions such as metatarsalgia, characterized by pain and inflammation in the front part of the foot. The Achilles tendon undergoes increased tension, potentially causing tightness and discomfort. Prolonged wear of high heels can contribute to the shortening of the calf muscles, limiting flexibility and disrupting the overall biomechanics of the foot. Ankle instability and a higher risk of sprains are also associated with frequent high heel use. Understanding the impact of high heels on foot posture emphasizes the importance of moderation and the occasional choice of comfortable footwear to maintain optimal foot health. If you are experiencing foot pain brought about by wearing high heels, it is suggested that you confer with a podiatrist for treatment options.

High heels have a history of causing foot and ankle problems. If you have any concerns about your feet or ankles, contact Kevin Powers, DPM from The Center for Lower Extremity Nerve Surgery. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Effects of High Heels on the Feet

High heels are popular shoes among women because of their many styles and societal appeal.  Despite this, high heels can still cause many health problems if worn too frequently.

Which Parts of My Body Will Be Affected by High Heels?

  • Ankle Joints
  • Achilles Tendon – May shorten and stiffen with prolonged wear
  • Balls of the Feet
  • Knees – Heels cause the knees to bend constantly, creating stress on them
  • Back – They decrease the spine’s ability to absorb shock, which may lead to back pain.  The vertebrae of the lower back may compress.

What Kinds of Foot Problems Can Develop from Wearing High Heels?

  • Corns
  • Calluses
  • Hammertoe
  • Bunions
  • Morton’s Neuroma
  • Plantar Fasciitis

How Can I Still Wear High Heels and Maintain Foot Health?

If you want to wear high heeled shoes, make sure that you are not wearing them every day, as this will help prevent long term physical problems.  Try wearing thicker heels as opposed to stilettos to distribute weight more evenly across the feet.  Always make sure you are wearing the proper shoes for the right occasion, such as sneakers for exercising.  If you walk to work, try carrying your heels with you and changing into them once you arrive at work.  Adding inserts to your heels can help cushion your feet and absorb shock. Full foot inserts or metatarsal pads are available. 

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our offices located in Indianapolis and Bloomington, IN . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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