Warning: Your High Heels Could Be Damaging Your Ankles and Knees

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High heels can make your legs look like they go on for days, enhance your leg muscles, and give you a little extra in the height department. They can also give you lifelong muscle pain, weakness, and all sorts of unpleasant side effects. What’s the truth about high heels, and how can you protect your health?

How Heels Affect Your Anatomy

Unfortunately, no matter how beautiful high heels are, they also have negative effects on almost every part of your anatomy. No matter how great they make you feel today, are you willing to go through a lifetime of pain just for your shoe choice? These are just a few of the areas that are most affected by high heel wearing:

    • Nerves in the toes
    • Calf muscles
    • Toes (bunions)
    • Achilles tendon
    • Ankles
    • Heels
    • Knees
    • Back

Long-Term Repercussions

If you wear high heels frequently, you may suffer some of these repercussions. Even if you only wear them occasionally, you may be doing damage to your body that builds up over time.

Toes: The tissue between your third and fourth toes may thicken, leading to numbness and tingling in the toes.

Bunions: Tight high heels can cause the development of bunions, completely undoing all of your efforts to have pretty feet.

Knees: High heels change your posture and put the excessive pressure on your knees, possibly leading to osteoarthritis.

Calf: Your calf muscles have to adjust to the difference in your posture. This causes your muscles to tighten and shorten, which means that they may not even be able to relax when you’re not wearing heels.

Ankles: Studies indicate that high heels have a negative effect on your balance. Your ankles bear the brunt of this. Rolling, twisting, or fracturing your ankle are all more likely when you’re wearing heels.

Fix the Damage Caused By High Heels

No matter how long you’ve been wearing high heels or how often you wear them, it is never too late to change your habits and start building more healthy routines. Use these tips to start fixing the damage caused by your high heels.

Stretches

Lay flat on your stomach. Flex your feet so that your toes are under your heels. Slowly stretch your legs out and tighten your muscles. Hold for 10 seconds and repeat 5 times.

Bridges can do a lot to strengthen your legs and undo high heel damage. Lay flat on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the ground. Gradually lift until your hips and most of your back are off the ground. Hold. Lower back to the ground.

Reduce Your Heel Wearing

You may not ever be able to fully give up high heels, and that’s okay. However, you can significantly reduce the wear and tear on your body by wearing them every three days, rather than every day. Make sure to do the stretches listed above several times per week to minimize muscle damage and protect your legs.

It’s true that beauty often means sacrifice. But high heels are one sacrifice that you may not want to make if you value the long-term health of your legs and feet.

Sources:

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/health-and-fitness/health-advisor/dont-let-high-heels-ruin-your-bio-mechanics/article25878159/

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/06/27/high-heels-infographic_n_3512091.html

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