Not only are high-heeled shoes considered fashionable, they're also required attire for professional women in many lines of work. Unfortunately for these women, wearing high heels can be painful or even unhealthy. If high heels are part of your wardrobe, the physicians at Resurgens Orthopaedics are sharing how they can cause pain in the lower extremities and how you may be able to alleviate that pain.
High Heels and Foot Pain
The human foot was not intended to stand on its toes for extended periods of time but high-heeled shoes force the issue. This can cause a whole host of problems including corns, bunions, calluses, and hammer toes. These foot conditions tend to get worse over time. In addition, when the plantar fascia (the ligament that connects the heel to the toes) is forced to stretch out all day long, it can lead to plantar fasciitis.
High Heels and Lower Leg Pain
Wearing high heels causes a persistent engagement of the calf muscle, which tenses up when standing on your toes. This added stress on the calf muscle can cause muscle fibers to shorten and the Achilles tendon to become stiff and more susceptible to injury. In addition, high heels generally lack any kind of ankle support, which means you're more likely to injure your ankles when walking in them.
High Heels and Back Pain
There are varying schools of thought on if wearing high heels causes back pain. One is that wearing high heels can cause you to be off balance and you may unconsciously adjust by changing the position of your legs and hips as you walk. This position change can cause back pain. The second is that wearing high heels may not cause the back pain, rather it may exacerbate an existing back condition. Either way, if you experience back pain, you may want to opt for lower heels to see if that helps relieve your back pain.
Whether you wear high heels for work or for fashion, most doctors agree that moderation is important. If you wear heels for work, you could try bringing another pair of more comfortable shoes to wear when traveling to or from the office. Limiting the height of the heel, wearing wedge type shoe, or an open toe shoe are also options to consider if wearing heels is a must. If you're wearing them just for the look, remember to keep your health in mind and see a doctor if you feel like something's wrong. If you find yourself suffering from pain associated with your high heels, call or request an appointment online today with one of our expert physicians.