Heels are a basic to every working girl’s professional attire so a shopping splurge is never complete without them. Although heels can be quite expensive, there’s something that comes free with them—back pain. According to the American Osteopathic Organization, long term use of heels do not merely lead to leg injuries and deformity, it’s also linked to lower back pain.
As you wear heels, your foot slides forward in the shoe, resulting to an improper weight distribution. You incline forward so in order to keep your balance, you lean back and overarch your back. It looks sexy because it makes your hips appear more prominent. But this improper alignment strains the spine, often associated with problems like slipped or herniated disc, which can lead to severe back pain if left untreated.
So should I stop wearing heels?
Not necessarily. Note that the operative word is “linked”. This means that while wearing heels can be a contributory or aggravating factor to back pain, it is not necessarily a sure cause. No sufficient body of studies has been conducted to conclusively say this. However, a knowledgeable chiropractor who treats back pain relief in Ridgewood, NJ can say that considering the fact that wearing heels causes spine misalignment, it’s reasonable to say that it can worsen an existing back pain. And if the condition is currently absent, regular use of high heels can eventually lead to the development of one.
Here are ways to minimize back pain if heels really have to be a part of your lifestyle:
- Find heels that support weight better. Always wear shoes your size so the foot doesn’t slide forward too much putting more pressure on the toes. But do find one with a toe box spacious enough so your toes can wiggle freely. Opt for shorter heels and ones with a wider heel base as these help spread your weight more evenly. Stiletto-types provide very little support and towering pumps can shorten the Achilles tendon.
- Use heels less often. Don’t wear your heels throughout the day. Wear comfortable shoes or flat sandals when commuting to and from work. You may also alternate your shoe choice throughout the week (heels today, flats tomorrow, boots the next) or wear especially high heels only on days or occasions that you really have to look your best (meeting with executives).
- Visit a therapist. If you’ve been experiencing severe back pain lately or you think that high heels have worsened your disc condition, you may want to see physiotherapists that treat back pain in Bergen County such as those from MedWell Spine, Ostheoarthritis and Neuropathy Center. These specialists can help alleviate back pain and remedy spine issues you may have.
(Source: The Real Harm in High Heels, American Osteopathic Association)
(Source: The stilettos offer – get slipped disc, arthritis and other feet problems free! The Health Site)