The harm of heels: how fashionable shoes affect your health (expert says)

 Ah, those hairpins! They visually lengthen the legs, give a special charm to the gait. And also ... they contribute to deformation of the feet, destruction of joints, provoke migraines. How to wear heels with minimal harm to health, we figured out with a specialist.


The legendary Marilyn Monroe once said: "Give a girl a pair of high heels and she will conquer the whole world!" Since then, a lot of water has flowed under the bridge. But many of us continue to believe in the absolute necessity of "louboutins" in the wardrobe and do not know why heels are dangerous. If this rule applies to you, read our article carefully.


The harm of high heels from the point of view of physics

The harm of high heels from the point of view of physics


The main disadvantage of high-heeled shoes is that they literally interfere with the natural biomechanics of movement. When you put on stiletto heels, you literally walk on your toes. As a result, the forefoot is overloaded(with a heel height of 8 cm, the overload is 7 times higher than the norm!), and it does not fulfill its most important - spring - function. Having lost a natural natural shock absorber, we will, without exaggeration be said, destroy the entire musculoskeletal system. Each step gives an uncompensated shock load to the knee and hip joints. 


The harm of heels to the spine is also obvious. A non-optimal motor stereotype of walking (the body moves unnaturally, seeks to coordinate and keep from falling) causes a general muscle imbalance, which rises higher from the lower extremities. Lower back hurts, posture suffers. Overstrain in the muscles of the shoulder girdle and neck leads to brain hypoxia and migraines.


Our body is not anatomically "sharpened" for walking in high heels . Attempts to deceive nature are fraught with problems from head to toe.


Why are heels dangerous, or what else happens to your feet when you often wear stilettos

  • Flat feet. An unnatural load on the foot disrupts blood circulation and provokes tissue degeneration. Muscles, ligaments, involuntarily excluded from work, atrophy. Over time, this can lead to such a common problem as lateral flat feet.

  • Hallux Valgus. With constant "torture" with hairpins, the bones of the foot are deformed. And if there is a predisposition, the very " bumps " on the thumb come out.

  • Achillite. Inflammation of the Achilles tendon is a problem for women who recklessly change shoes without the slightest preparation and warm-up of their feet. When wearing studs, the Achilles tendon naturally shortens. If you spent the whole day “at the height”, and then in the blink of an eye changed into sneakers or, worse, ballet flats, there is a high risk of micro-tears of the ligaments and their further inflammation. 

  • Morton's neuroma (plantar nerve injury). Occurs due to prolonged overload in the forefoot. For the same reason, painful corns are formed - the lesser of troubles.

  • Haglund deformation .Happens to those who choose stiletto heels in combination with an overly stiff heel. He literally bites into the leg, constantly injuring her. This problem is also called "Cinderella Syndrome". An obvious reference to what material her shoes were made from. A similar problem is possible if you have chosen the wrong size shoes. Mantra "Spread!" easily turns any of us into a real victim of fashion.

  • Marching fracture. Happens to metatarsal bones when they are overloaded. They are prone to both marathon runners who do not know the measures in training, and lovers of high heels.

By the way! Sitting in such shoes is also harmful (hello, office dress code). In this position, the gastrocnemius muscles are contracted for a long time and experience increased tension. 

To whom high heels are absolutely contraindicated

  • Pregnant. During this period, the  body already has a displaced center of gravity, the load on the joints of the lower extremities increases. Besides, under the influence of the hormone relaxin, they are more susceptible to ligament sprains. One careless movement could result in serious injury.

  • Teenagers. Doctors do not recommend prolonged wearing of high heels for girls under 18 - 20 years old - the age at which the formation of the skeleton ends. Those who, from a very young age, cannot imagine life without hairpins, may face such an unpleasant phenomenon as contracture (shortening) of the Achilles tendons. As a result of the development of this pathology, movements in the ankle joint are limited and characteristic pains in the leg appear.

How to wear high heels safely

To help Carrie Bradshaw's followers who do not want to part with model shoes, a number of special life hacks.

  • Orthoses . Full contact orthopedic insoles help to properly distribute the load over the entire foot, activate the required muscles and optimize the biomechanics of movement, reducing the risk of deformities and pathologies.Since there are no identical feet, a universal orthosis from a pharmacy is a profanation.And even if the packaging is labeled in the spirit of "approved by orthopedists", you should not believe it - this is a marketing ploy. Real insoles are made only by a doctor and individually, taking into account the peculiarities of the foot.

  • Gymnastics. Strengthen your leg muscles with simple barefoot exercises. For example, lift the napkin off the floor 20 times with each foot, pinching it with your toes. Pull the toe towards you, and then away from you, make several circular movements with your feet. Stand up on tiptoe and then slowly lower yourself back down to the floor. Tiptoe walking makes sense too. Finally, rub your feet well with your fist.

  • Trainers. Get the simplest equipment, for example, a balance cushion or a fitness roll with a textured surface. On a pillow, it is enough to stand on one leg, maintaining balance, or perform slow squats. Thus, you not only train the vestibular apparatus and balance, but also strengthen the muscles and ligaments. And with the help of a roll, you can make a good self-massage of the lower leg and calf muscles. As a result, blood and lymph flow improves, and a feeling of "lightness" appears.

  • Foot baths.  After a day at the Louboutins, do not neglect the relaxing baths. Sea salt can relieve fatigue , and linden tea will improve blood circulation. 


What happens if you forget about heels forever

What happens if you forget about heels forever


We found out about the harm of heels for women. But shoes without them are not a panacea. Moreover,absolutely flat soles of ballet flats are also not welcomed by orthopedic surgeons and podiatrists (foot specialists). When wearing such shoes, the heel is heavily loaded, and this, in turn, brings a cascade of problems for the musculoskeletal system. The ideal option is a stable heel 2-4 centimeters high.

The records of ancient Roman historians testify that Gaius Julius Caesar experimented with the “ideal” height, “working” with the uniforms of his infantrymen. 2.5 cm is the height of the heel at which the Roman army marched most effectively.

Ideal from a podiatric point of view, the pair, among other things, has a shape-stable, but not rigid, heel counter and fits well on the leg (does not dangle, but does not squeeze it).

And one more important point: it is undesirable to choose shoes with a narrow cape. When worn for a long time, they provoke the occurrence of deformations, in particular, the already mentioned "bumps". A couple of other problems caused by tight shoes are ingrown nails and hammer-like twisted toes.

Being a victim of fashion today ... Not fashionable! Remembering the joke that "you can die of pleasure only in one case - dropping your heels in the evening", think about whether the game is worth the candle. Moreover, there are so many trendy shoes in stores and on marketplaces without a hint of stiletto heels.

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