We have seen models and actresses strut in pencil-thin stilettos, looking glamorous and attractive. And who can forget the epic Sex and the city show which took its love for shoes to another level. Its lead character, Carrie Bradshaw played by Sarah Jessica Parker loved her Manolo Blahniks and did not mind shelling out all her money on pretty shoes.
But Parker recently confessed in an interview that her foot was deformed due to years of wearing high heels. She wore them for nearly 10 years, 18 hours a day, as a result of which an extra bone grew in her foot. She now refrains from wearing high heels and sticks to sneakers which are far more comfortable.
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Her recent confession highlights the ill-effects of wearing high heels. They look trendy, no doubt, but wearing them too frequently can cause foot and back problems at a later stage. A study done at the University of Queensland concluded that women who wear stilettos regularly have shorter and forceful strides even when they walk barefoot because their body gets accustomed to walking in high heels. This causes the tendons to shorten and results in more strain on the calf muscles.
Be assured of joint pains if you wear heels all the time. The structure of these shoes is such that it puts one’s body weight on the ball of the feet. The knee, buttocks and spine are put in awkward positions.
The high heels also exert a lot of extra pressure on the knee, both on the front and back, and can lead to osteoarthritis. The knee is surrounded by a cartilage which absorbs nutrients from the fluid in the knee to repair itself. When you wear high heels, you are restricting the cartilage to absorb the fluid as there is too much strain on the knee. Once the cartilage dries out, it begins to shred and can lead to knee osteoarthritis.
If you are overweight and you wear high heels regularly, you are at a greater risk of knee and back problems as you put more stress on your muscles than an average weight person. What is further alarming is the number of problems it can cause – ankle sprains, deformed feet, lower back pain, wrong posture and various others. So hide your heels in your closet and get a pair of sneakers or platform shoes which support your feet rather than destroy them. If you must wear high heels, keep these tips in mind.
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Tips for wearing heels
- Wear high heels only on special occasions where not too much walking or standing is required.
- Go for less high heels so that you do not do too much damage to your feet.
- A wedge heel is better than a pencil-thin stiletto as it gives support to the entire foot.
- Do not run in heels or wear them for too long. If you have a foot injury, avoid wearing them.
- Always buy shoes that are comfortable and of the right size. Smaller ones can squeeze your toes and larger ones will make walking difficult as they will keep coming off.
- Practise walking in high heels at home before you step out as you can lose your balance and fall if you can’t walk in them. Twisting of ankle and other injuries are common so do practise walking in them beforehand.
So the next time you find yourself giving into temptation of buying new stilettos or wearing them without any reason, just think of the harmful effects it could incur on your body and posture and may be that will stop you from buying or wearing them. Let them sit in your closet, they look pretty there too!
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