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Your Health & High Heels

Spring has finally sprung, and with it comes the desire to ditch those clunky boots. For many women, it means a chance to slip into a pair of cute high heels.

For work or play, plenty of women rely on pumps to polish an outfit into something a bit more special. The common refrain afterward calls for sympathy for the feet. But, did you ever stop to think about the other parts of your body that might require care after time in heels?

A high-heeled shoe significantly changes both gait and weight distribution. With monumental pressure focused on the ball of the foot and toes, every part of you — from your ankles upward — is forced to reposition and compensate in order to maintain balance.

Woman with back pain

Maintain a healthy back and stay in fashion.

As your pelvis is pushed outward, undue strain is placed upon your lumbar spine – many women complain of lower back pain after spending several hours standing or walking in heels. Repeated wear can lead to subluxations in this area, which if left uncorrected, will develop into chronic lumbar discomfort and nerve impingement.

Unfortunately, completely removing high heels from the equation is not an option for some, who must wear them as part of employee policy or a company uniform. So, what’s the best way to remain healthy and comfortable in heels?

Start by choosing a lower heel whenever possible — anything under 2 inches is an optimum height for comfort. A wider heel base as opposed to a spindly stiletto will provide better stability while both standing and walking. Wedges are also a great option in this department.

We know the actual heel itself is important, but don’t forget about the rest of the shoe. Try to select a well-crafted shoe with breathable upper materials, such as leather or cotton. Most importantly, ensure that all five of your toes have room within the shoe. Look at your foot in a rested position, flat on the floor. If your shoe is impeding on your toes, either via its length or width, it isn’t the right fit. When you’ve made your decision, remember that any shoe with a heel should not be worn for lengthy periods, if possible. Be sure to take regular sitting breaks and don’t push yourself.

Maintaining a healthy back and feet doesn’t mean that you have to completely sacrifice a sense of fashion. Make smart choices with your heels — you’ll stay looking and feeling great this spring!

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