More women are now wearing high heels because it adds to the aesthetic appearance of any wardrobe or even make their legs look longer. However, there are various discussions regarding the use of high heels. Most of studies have shown various adverse effects of using high heels. However, some people may also discuss the benefits of using high heels. In order to answer the question in regard to whether high heels are healthy for women, it is essential to look into the pros and cons of using high heels and decide whether the benefits potentially outweigh the risks.
Advantages of using High Heels
According to a study conducted by Cerruto et al. in 2008, women using high heels may have increased muscle tone on the pelvic floor of women. This has a potential benefit for preventing and managing urinary incontinence. This effect may be attributed with the presence of ankle plantar flexion when high heels are worn; thereby tilting the posterior pelvic floor and resulting in increased muscle tone.
Another finding of the study have indicated that wearing high heels reduces myofascial pain in the pelvic area, relaxes the pelvic floor and increases the well being of the pelvic organs.
Health aside, high heels are advantageous in making a woman appear taller and slender.
Disadvantages of using High Heels
Although there are advantages of high heels, it seems that there are a lot more disadvantages of wearing one. The problem associated with the use of high heels is rooted on the increased pressure on the ball of the foot as the foot assumes a slanted position. Problems may include:
Wearing high heels frequently may put special strain on your back. As the heels are raised, the center of gravity is moved forward. Because of this, the back compensates by bending on the lower back leading to problems on the spine and underlying nerves on the back. Sciatica is a condition whereby the nerves are trapped leading to pain and numbness from the lower back up to the feet.
Since the back tends to adjust with the changes in the center of gravity, the hips, back and shoulders usually are misaligned leading to problems in posture.
Wearing high heels may also be especially bothersome for the tendons on the feet especially in the Achilles tendon. When the heels are raised, the Achilles tendon tend to shorten and loose its flexibility leading to future problems of tendon damage.
Sesamoiditis is the inflammation of the sesamoid bones on the ball of the foot. This occurs because when the heels are raised, too much weight is placed on the ball of the foot leading to damage in the area over time.
Tightening of the calf muscles
The calf muscles may also tighten and shorten when high heels are worn frequently. The calf muscles may remain tightened permanently leading to additional back and knee problems.
Using high heels over the years may eventually lead to degeneration of the joints. This is true because high heels tend to increase pressure on the knee joint as the body is pushed forward to maintain stability.
Looking into the advantages and disadvantages of high heels lead to the conclusion that generally high heels are not healthy for women. It is advised that women avoid using high heels in order to prevent the adverse effects on the musculoskeletal system. However, in the event that high heels need to be worn, these tips help you prevent the above conditions:
Limit the high heels to at most 1.5 inches high.
Perform stretching exercises of the back, legs and feet.
Use platforms, wedges or chunky heels instead of a stiletto.
Use orthotics inside your high heels.
Seek chiropractic care and contact Dr. Mohr, your Tampa chiropractor, to manage the problems early.