Wearing high heels is considered a symbol of elegance. Your posture appears better and you get a confidence boost when you wear heels. Being able to walk elegantly in heels does not come easy and requires practice and balance. After you have mastered the art of walking in heels, it is difficult to switch back to wearing those comfortable, yet not-so-good-looking flats. Even though wearing heels makes you look better, it can cause many serious health problems.
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1. Lower Back Pain
Wearing high heels causes your lower back to curve more than it would if you were wearing flat shoes. Since the increased curvature of your back makes your spine go out of alignment, there is extreme pressure on your hip flexors and thighs to keep you in balance, causing back pain over time. If you are already suffering from issues related to back pain, wearing high heels can immensely aggravate your situation.
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2. High Chances Of Injury
High heels not only hurt your feet but can be responsible for many foot-related injuries as well. You can sprain or twist your ankles, strain your feet, and sometimes, break your bones. Since the posture you are in while wearing heels is not natural for the body, it is difficult for your body to maintain the posture and maintain perfect balance, resulting in a very high rate of injuries. There is a chance of you suffering from spondylolisthesis, a condition in which one vertebrae slips over the other.
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3. Strain Due To Lack Of Shock Absorbance
High heels are not apt at absorbing shock like other shoes do. Most of the pressure is placed on the ball of your feet when you wear heels. Eventually, the natural padding at the ball of your feet wears away, causing your feet to hurt when you wear heels. The angle of your feet in heels prevents the natural rotation of your feet and this combined with the lack of shock absorption causes immense strain on your knees. This strain will eventually result in joint pain.
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4. Shortened Achilles Tendon
Excessive use of high heels can ultimately change your anatomy. When you stand on your toes, the calf muscles remain contracted for an extended period of time. The habit of continuously wearing high heels can cause the calf muscle fibers to shorten and the Achilles tendon that connects the calf muscle to the bone to become thick and stiff.
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The tremendous amount of pressure exerted on your feet when you wear heels combined with the friction between your feet and your shoes lead to the development of calluses. The formation of calluses are part of your body’s coping mechanism. Calluses are not painful at first but can lead to severe skin lesions of not treated properly.
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6. Ingrown Toenails
The number 1 cause of ingrown toenails are high heels. When there is excess pressure applied on your toes, the nails of your big toe do not get to grow properly. Instead, the nails grow back into the skin. Ingrown toenails are painful and can cause infection in the area where the skin is punctured.
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7. Nerve Damage
Morton’s neuroma is a condition that causes nerve damage and foot pain. Wearing high heels that are pointed in the front is said to be one of the major causes of this condition. The condition is caused by the head of the metatarsals pressing against each other and squishing the nerves between them, causing the nerves and surrounding tissues to harden. It is a painful condition and surgery is required if it gets too severe.
You should take precaution if you are used to wearing heels. Avoid heels more than 2 inches high and take frequent breaks from wearing heels if you have to wear heels for extended periods of time. Do not get into the habit of wearing heels at home as many injuries happen when you do so. Wearing heels during pregnancy is definitely a no-no. You can wear heels during the first trimester, but after that your muscles start to stretch and become loose, leading to instability and muscle strain. You can suffer from back and foot problems and will have very high chances of miscarriage during the second and third trimester of your pregnancy.