High Heels – Are they the Culprit of your Foot, Knee and Back Problems?

Women’s high heel footwear has received a lot of attention in the media lately. Foot and ankle specialists have talked themselves blue in the face about the damaging effect that high heel footwear can have on the feet, knees and backs of fashionable women. But what’s the harm? Regardless of what anybody says, fashionable shoes certainly aren’t on their way out the door.

Manhattan, NY podiatrist Dr. Johanna Youner reported in a recent interview that a “a three-inch rise in heel is seven times the body weight than a one-inch heel on your forefoot.” 1 That’s an incredible amount of pressure on the ankle and forefoot!

In another interview, podiatrist Lorraine Jones explains “High heels also place extra pressure on your joints when they are already under strain – which can result in a host of foot, leg and back problems…”2 The article mentions a survey of 1,000 moms-to-be by the British Society of Chiropodists and Podiatrists, which revealed that 32% reported wearing high heels.

What can be done to minimize the damaging effects of high heels? If you suffer any foot, ankle or back pain, seek the opinion of a foot and ankle specialist. They can advise exercises and aftermarket products such as orthotic shoe inserts to keep troubles away. Another precaution is to reduce the amount of time that high heel footwear is worn on any given day. Wear a pair of comfortable tennis shoes during your daily commute and switch to something more fashionable at the office or ballroom.

Have any high heel footwear advice to share? Submit your comments.

1 Gomez, Max. Healthwatch: The dangers of High Heels. 21 Nov. 2008. WCBSTV.

2 Black, Rosemary. Pregnant women who slide their tootsies into fashionable shoes face future foot problems. 15 June 2010. NYDailyNews.com

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