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Why High Heels Can Lead to Foot, Knee or Lower Back Problems

Pain is no stranger to women who wear heels! However, the pain associated with high heels isn’t just about your feet. High heels can also have a detrimental effect on your knees, hips and lower back. It’s important to get up to speed on how high heels can lead to pain, so that you’re aware of potential complications.

Heels can increase your risk for developing pain, toe and toenail deformities, fractures, sprains, bunions, hammertoes, and knee and lower back pain. Read more below:

1.) Daily pain in the ball of foot:
High heels shift your body weight so that the stress that’s ordinarily placed uniformly over your feet now puts a majority of pressure on the balls of your feet. In most cases, the higher the heel, the more pressure you’ll have on the ball of the foot. This can lead to daily pain from wearing your high heels.

2.) Heel pain:

The impact of the heel in high heels can lead to pain in the heel area. Heel pain isn’t normally caused by a specific event or injury, it’s usually the result of constant impact force on the heel over a period of time. The pain typically begins gradually and gets worse over time.

3.) Toenail deformities:
Wearing high heels shifts your weight to the front of your foot, pushing your toes into the front of the shoe. Since heels are often pointed or have a narrow toe box, this puts additional pressure on your toes and toenails. This can result in nail deformities like ingrown toenails. This is where the toenails grow into the skin.

4.) Ankle sprains and strains:
Since wearing high heels shifts your body weight, you may find that you’re out of balance, and this can make you more susceptible to falls especially on uneven or quickly changing surfaces. The unnatural position of the foot while you’re wearing high heels can also make you vulnerable to twisted ankles as well as sprains.

5.) Bunions and hammertoes:
Over time, the pressure and compression from wearing high heels can cause your toes to become crooked, forming a bend in the middle of the toe joint. This is known as hammertoe.

Wearing high heels can also squeeze and crowd your toes, leading to a bunion. Bunions are bumps that form at the base of the big toe.

6.) Knee and lower back pain:
When you walk in high heels, you have a tendency to arch your back to compensate for the fact that your weight is being shifted forward. This can put pressure on the lower back, causing pain. The unnatural shift in weight can also cause knee pain due to pressure on your knees and the strain to surrounding muscles.