Chris Delpierre, a podiatrist at the Sports Science Institute of South Africa in Cape Town, gives the low-down on high heels and our health. High heels may look good but they can cause problems for your feet, ankles, legs, hips and back.
Feet And Ankle Problems
When you wear heels, the centre of gravity shifts forwards to the ball of the foot. The higher the heel, the more pressure. This can cause relatively simple problems, like calluses or corns, as well as more serious conditions. These may include forefoot deformities, like bunions, and nerve conditions, like neuromas. The narrower toe box and tendency of the foot to slide forwards in heels can cause blisters and corns. With the foot in a downward position, calf muscles are shortened, causing a shortening of the Achilles tendon. The muscles can then become tighter causing pain or injury when barefoot or in flat shoes.
Leg And Hip Problems
The dropped foot position and the increased pressure can cause compensation in the rest of the body. The knee remains in a slightly bent position, which affects the natural curvature of the back. Continuous use of high heels could cause knee arthritis as well as chronic hip and/or back pain.
TIPS For Wearing High Heels