New research from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte reveals that wearing high heels can initially strengthen the ankle but eventually create weakness and instability as time passes. Tricia Turner, associate professor of kinesiology, stated, “With prolonged use you get muscle shortening in the back of the leg and muscle lengthening in the front of the leg. These changes in muscle length then can change muscle strength.” Turner shared that high heels can also create problems that can alter normal walking gait.
High heels can create a myriad of foot and ankle problems. If you have any concerns about your feet contact one of our podiatrists from Connecticut Foot Care Centers, LLC. Our doctors will treat your foot and ankle needs.
Effects of High Heels on the Feet
High heels are popular shoes among women because they are associated with femininity. Despite their appeal, they can cause many health problems if worn too frequently.
What parts my body will be affected by high heels?
- Ankle Joints
- Achilles Tendon – may shorten and stiffen with prolonged wear
- Balls of the Feet
- Knees – heels cause the knees to bend constantly, creating stress on them
- Back – they decrease the spine’s ability to absorb shock, which may lead to back pain. Also, the vertebrae of the lower back may compress.
What kinds of foot problems can develop from wearing high heels?
- Morton’s Neuroma
- Plantar Fasciitis
How can I still wear high heels and maintain foot health?
If you want to wear high heeled shoes, make sure that you are not wearing them every day, as this will help prevent long term physical problems. Try wearing thicker heels as opposed to stilettos to distribute weight more evenly across the feet. Always make sure you are wearing the proper shoes for the right occasion, such as sneakers for exercising. If you walk to work, try carrying your heels with you and changing into them once you arrive at work. Adding inserts to your heels can help cushion your feet and absorb shock; you can buy either full inserts or metatarsal pads.
If you have any questions, please contact one of our offices located in Connecticut. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.