I’m sure the majority of college girls – and most girls, in all honesty – can agree with me when I say high heels are absolutely horrible to wear. They may look pretty, but they can definitely hurt your feet. However, recently I began noticing that not just my feet were hurting when I would wear heels – I wear a decent size, around 5 in, and now I start to feel my knees hurting with each step and calves feel tighter than usual. So now Im wondering – can high heels affect the rest of your body (other than just your feet)?
Null Hypothesis: high heels do not affect the rest of your body
Alternative Hypothesis: high heels do affect the rest of your body
First off: what about high heels causes that foot pain that we all know and love?
The majority has to do with how much pressure you’re putting on your feet. According to The Spine Institute, wearing high heels actually throws off the usually even amount of pressure on your feet, and focuses on the balls of your feet and toes instead – similar to the pressure you feel in your feet when walking uphill. The taller the heel, the higher the elevation, and the more the pressure.
Wearing a narrow pointed high heel or an ill fitting high heel (whether it’s too big or small) will also cause foot pain as this is why causes ingrown toenails and blisters.
And now how they can affect the rest of the body
Similar to how it works with feet, The Spine Institute stated that wearing heels also puts a lot of pressure on your knees because its similar to walking in an uphill motion. It also puts stress on the inside of your knees which in time (if you wear heels daily) can possibly lead to joint and muscle damage.
Calves and Ankle pain:
According to Women’s Health, wearing heels (especially ones that contain straps) can cut off the circulation near your ankle since it forces the ankle to move forward – with enough time, this could cause veins to occur on the lower part of your legs. Walking in high heels (as I have noticed) causes your calves to get really tight as you’re trying to maintain balance – this is why it takes your feet some adjusting to walk normally after wearing heels for a prolonged period of time (the calf muscle needs to loosen itself). If you wear heels constantly for a long period of time, this can result in your calves being consistently tight, causing pain while walking no matter what shoes are being worn.
When standing with no heels, your back is usually just straight, so there are no points of pressure or strain. According to The Spine Institute, wearing heels causes your back to arch forward, to compensate for the balance being lost. Walking for hours in heels can put a lot of stress on your lower back, resulting in soreness and pain.
Long term effects:
Chronic high heel wearing can not only change the anatomy of your body (as shown with the calf muscles) but can also lead to a chronic nerve pain. This nerve condition causes tingling, sharp pains, and muscle cramps that radiate from the lower back all the way down to the legs.
The Spine Institute shows a variety of ways to help alleviate pain from wearing high heels. Some ways include stretching, buying insoles to place in your shoe (Dr. Scholls, for example), avoiding certain types of high heels and limiting the amount of time you wear heels per day.
We have enough evidence to prove that wearing high heels does in fact affect more than just feet, so therefore we can reject the null hypothesis.
I was unaware how much damage a pair of shoes could cause, so a word of the wise would be to wear shoes like this in moderation to avoid injury.
Photo Source: here