Scary Effects Of Using High Heel Shoes On Health

Effects Of Using High Heel Shoes on Health

Are you a lover of high heels? High heels are a cool fashion statement for many women. High heels are one of the most widely worn footwear for women. The goal of every woman to wear high heels is to make the feet look taller and sexier. Shoes with high heels are indeed the first choices for women to look beautiful and increase height. 

Not only for parties, but high heels are also often one of the main accessories for going to the office or just relaxing at once. However, have you ever realized the dangers it poses to women’s health? Unfortunately, although they make the appearance better, high heels actually cause several health hazards that we may rarely know about. High heels are certainly uncomfortable for everyday use. But sometimes you definitely want to wear it or need to wear it to attend an important event.

Dangerous Side Effects Of Using High Heel Shoes For Health

Those of you who have the habit of wearing high heels too often need to be careful. The use of high heels for too long can cause disturbances in various organs of the body. There are several bad effects of wearing high heels for health. Of course, you are already familiar with the pain and blisters on the feet due to using high heels. 

According to the American Podiatric Medical Association, 71 percent of women who wear high heels often experience pain when wearing them. The pain is not only felt in the legs but also affects other parts of the body, which in turn can cause more serious health problems. Even though the pain is temporary, there are several other horrific effects of wearing high heels for your health that may strike you later.

Before using high heels, it's a good idea to know first what the bad effects of wearing high heels are and how to solve these problems.

1.     Lower Back Pain

Do you often feel back pain after wearing heels all day? High heels don't give your feet complete support, so your weight is not evenly distributed. Therefore, your body needs to maintain balance when you wear high heels. To do so, your lower back appears to be pushed forward, and the alignment of your hips and spine changes. 

Your hip flexors should be constantly bent to maintain balance. And if you wear high heels a lot for a long time, it can cause those muscles to shorten and contract. Over time, this can cause soreness, inflammation around your hip, and lower back pain. As a result, there is excessive stress on the knees, hips, and lower back. 

This change in posture causes sciatica, which is a condition when the sciatic nerve is pinched and causes pain and numbness to the lower leg. If in addition to these symptoms there are other symptoms, such as difficulty controlling urination or bowel movements and weakness in the legs, then you need to see a doctor immediately to prevent complications from continuing.

  2.   Sore Calves

Soared and aching calf muscles are one of the side effects of wearing high heels. The habit of wearing heels can also make the blood vessels and tendons in the legs stand out more. It can also cause blood vessels to bulge, which not only looks terrible but also very painful.

3. Causes Ankle Sprains

Shoes with high and pointy heels are the most at risk of causing injury. This is because the weight of your body that rests only on these two sharp ends puts you at a high risk of falling and experiencing sprains. Therefore, remember to put your feet more carefully when you walk on uneven or rocky roads. You should be very careful, especially on slippery floors or roads. If you slip and fall, you can sprain your foot or even fractured your ankle.

4. Awkward Spin Curve (Pain in the Spine)

Wearing high heels can affect the curvature of your spine. This is because the alignment of the spine changes when wearing high heels. Most fashion-lovers wear stilettos or high heels to show off their curves. Usually, our spinal column has a gentle curvature, which allows it to reduce shock from your body movements. 

High heels arch the lower back more than usual and the alignment of your spine shifts. In fact, the heel height is directly proportional to the degree of the curve in the back. Walking for long periods in high heels can cause the spine to move unnaturally and cause stress on the muscles of the lumbar region. This condition will cause pain, numbness, pain in the lower back, and tingling sensation when using it.

Anatomical changes in your spine can also cause a number of other health problems, for example, it is possible that you have a spinal cord condition called foraminal stenosis. Under this condition opening between the bones in your spine gets narrowed or tightened. This can cause severe pain, muscle weakness, spasms, and cramps.

5. Causes Achilles Tendinitis

The Achilles tendon is one of the connective tissues that play an important role in the movement of the feet when you walk. If you are one of those people who often wear high heels continuously especially in the long term, you should be careful that they can cause inflammation of the tendons or tendonitis.

This inflammation occurs at the Achilles tendon, the connective tissue that connects the calf muscles in the back of the lower leg to the heel bone. When you have Achilles tendinitis, you usually feel tense when you stretch your leg and are characterized by pain and swelling in your heel when you walk. This limits the range of motion when you flex your leg. When you feel something like that, make sure you don't ignore it because there is a risk of tearing your Achilles tendon making you unable to walk.

6.  Toes Hyperextension (Turf Toe)

Hyperextension of toes is a long-term effect of wearing a high heel. By wearing high heels throughout the day and every day, you can experience permanent hyperextended toes. High heels pointed can pinch your toes in a very narrow space. The toes experience continuous and excessive swing backward. The more stiletto-shaped the heel, the more the hyperextension backward to counterbalance the body weight. While bunions are thought to be genetic, they can be made worse if you have certain conditions, such as flat feet and a lot of wearing high heels.

7.  Constricts Blood Vessels

High heels usually make your feet appear longer and thinner. The unnatural shape of high heels forces the foot to take a completely unnatural shape and an uncomfortable position. The stress on the foot can block blood vessels thereby hampering the blood flow. In cases like this can certainly cause the blood vessels to burst. Poor blood circulation around the area results in a pinching pain in the back and hips. In addition, heels can also weaken ankle ligaments and make them more prone to injury.

8.     Crooked Legs (Hammertoe)

Hammertoes or bent feet are one of the most dangerous side effects of wearing high heels. An unnatural position of the foot, the tension on the calves, blood vessels, and back, results in a deformed foot, which is called a hammertoe. It is a painful and uncomfortable foot condition. If you already have a hammertoe, it is recommended never to wear a stiletto.

9. Varicose Veins

When wearing high heels, foot movement is limited. This can restrict blood circulation in the lower limbs. Because the efficiency of blood flow is impaired, there can be dilation of the veins in the legs, known as varicose veins. 

In the long term, varicose veins can cause swelling and pain in the affected leg. Symptoms caused by varicose veins in the legs include cramps, pain and heavy and hot feet. These complaints will be more pronounced when sitting or standing for too long.

10.  Hallux Valgus

Users of high heels are also at risk for hallux valgus or bending of the thumb toe bone. Hallux valgus is commonly known as “bunion. This disorder will cause pain, redness, and blisters on the bony prominences, especially when wearing shoes.

11. Knee Pain

The unnatural arches of the feet when wearing high heels put stress on the knee joint, and this habit can trigger osteoarthritis pain. This condition occurs due to the friction of the ends of the bones that make up the joints resulting in inflammation and pain. The wrong support when using high heels will cause your body weight to be more focused on the middle of the knee. This condition can lead to an increased risk of a knee injury.

12. Ingrown Toenails

Ingrown toenails are one more potential risk that can accompany wearing high heels excessively, particularly in case you're wearing heels with an exceptionally pointy toe. Other than the way that high heels can make your nails look, they can likewise influence the way that they grow. In a study proving that the main cause of ingrown nails is the use of high heels. Removing the ingrown nail will cause excruciating pain. You must immediately see a doctor to solve this problem.

13. Unbalanced Walking

The use of high heels can indirectly change body posture. This is because not all women can balance well when wearing high heels. This condition can make walking very uncomfortable for some women. The tendency to lose balance and even the risk of falling. Your feet are also at risk for sprains in the ankle area. Muscle and tendon inflammation can also occur. If you wear high heels for too long and too often, your muscles and tendons will adapt to you moving/standing differently. After that, when you return to 'normal' shoes and a 'normal' gait, that's when you get hit with an injury.


After knowing some of the side effects of wearing high heels above, hopefully, you can be more careful in using them. If you still want to wear high heels, there are healthier ways to minimize foot injuries.  

    1.     Use Less High Heels: To reduce injury, it is better to limit the use of high heels only for certain events. Look for shoes with heels that are more comfortable by limiting the height of the heels. Choose high heels that do not exceed 6 cm. According to the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA), the height of the heel should be five centimeters or shorter to reduce tension in the body. It is highly recommended to wear high heels within reasonable limits and not continuously, especially over a long period. 

    2.     Choose Comfortable Shoes: If you still want to use high heels, then choose the type of thick heels to increase body stability. This type can also help relieve pressure by distributing the load on the feet more evenly. Also, wear heels that provide a more stable footstool like a wedge or platform model. Shoe styles such as platforms and wedges are a healthy alternative to achieving height without pain because both types of shoes have a larger surface area to distribute weight. 

    3.     Put Comfort First: Choose shoes that fit your feet. Make sure they have good arch support and no narrow space for the toes. If one model is too tight, consider another shoe model that provides enough room for the feet. Avoid choosing high heels with pointed ends or sizes that are too small. In addition, instead of stilettos, it is better to choose shoes with wider section heels. Above all, consider comfort and wearability, beyond the trend. 

    4.     Wear Shoe Pads: Choose high heels that contain shoe pads. If not available, add cushioning to the shoes to prevent your feet from hurting when you wear them. The key elements that a healthy shoe must-have are cushioning and arch support. 

Pads come in different shapes and materials so that your feet can stick to the inside of the shoe, making them more comfortable to use for walking. That part is also to prevent blisters and bunions (protrusions of the bone at the base of the big toe). If your shoes are a little too big on the heel, use an additional sole that will make the shoe half the size smaller, as well as for added comfort. 

    5.     Do Not Use It Every Day: Just as you allow your body to rest between workouts, your feet also need a break from high heels. Alternate the use of high heels with shoes that are more comfortable, such as sneakers, which allow your feet to move naturally and freely, so that the muscles do not feel too tense from one particular force. 

    6.     Use According To The Event: Only wear shoes with high heels occasionally on special occasions, such as parties. Select the type of rights used in accordance with the event to be attended. For example, kitten heels; these small, short heels are perfect for a casual look. Meanwhile, stilettos are perfect to compliment an evening dress. Unlike wedges, this type is perfect for an afternoon stroll in shopping centers. 

    7.     Choose Smarter: Keep in mind the daily schedule when you plan to wear your tall shoes. If you know you are going to be standing a lot, all day long, do not pick stilettos. Wear sneakers or low heels so you can freely go here and there. In order to wear high heels at the right time, you can keep two or three pairs of shoes at work. 

If you have to wear heels to work every day, at least wear different shoes with different heights. This will keep the pressure and friction away from concentrating too much at a certain point and keep your feet fresh. If you use high heels every day, for example for work, you should choose one that is no more than 2-3 cm. Bring flat footwear to wear during work breaks or on your way to or from home. 

    8.     Take A Short Break: If you have been wearing your shoes for a while, it is advisable to take them off for a while. This is so that the legs can be more relaxed. Do not stand for more than three hours, and remember to take breaks. 

If you wear high heels every day, over time it can permanently damage your feet. When your feet start to sore, take off your shoes for a while so that your feet can breathe more freely. In order to deal with the stress in your feet throughout the day, rest your feet by lifting them up every night. 

    9.     Foot Massage: When wearing high heels, you should do stretching before and after using high heels so that the leg muscles remain relaxed and more flexible. Perform leg stretches every day to relax the calf muscles up to the toes. To reduce tension in the muscles, try placing a tennis ball under the arch of your foot. 

Place your heels on the floor and slowly roll your feet on the ball. Repeat this method with the other leg. Apart from that, you can also massage the bottom of your feet with your thumbs. For pain in leg muscles or cramps, pain relievers such as paracetamol and ibuprofen can be used. However, if the complaint does not improve, you should immediately see a doctor get appropriate treatment.

Scary Effects Of Using High Heel Shoes On Health

In addition to the conditions above, high heels should not be used too often in pregnant women. This is because if pregnant women wear high heels, there is a high chance of falls and miscarriage. To avoid pain and cramps, wear the right shoes. Shoes that are comfortable without heels are actually the best choice. 

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