Name a better accessory to the perfect outfit than a pair of killer high-heeled shoes. The shoes you wear can make or break the look you are going for. But did you know some studies have shown that high heels can negatively affect your long-term spinal health?
As chiropractors, we naturally look for the body to be centered from head to toe. That is why we specialize in adjusting the whole body! High heels put the foot at an angle and can pull the muscles and joints out of alignment. High-heeled shoes can dramatically increase forward sway or lordosis of the low back. This increased curve can cause substantial muscle tension and low back pain. In addition to this, according to the American Physical Therapy Association, “walking in high feels forces the back to arch and the chest to thrust forward, causing the neck and back to hyperextend.” Wearing high heels for any length of time can increase the normal forward curve of the back and causes the pelvis to tip forward.
It is not all bad news for shoe lovers! It is possible to wear high heels without affecting your long-term spinal health if you take these 4 suggestions:
- Set a Height Limit- Limit the height of your heels to less than 2.”
- Add Inserts-Add customized insoles inside your shoes to prevent slippage. (We offer these in our office)
- Seek Help- If you are experiencing extended periods of pain following wearing high heels, see a chiropractor to get your body back in alignment.
- Stretch- Make sure to stretch your muscles properly before and after wearing heels. Follow this stretch below.
- Lay a book with a one-inch spine on the floor.
- While standing, place the ball of your right foot on the book and rest your heel on the ground.
- Bend forward at the waist and try to grab the toes on the book. (If you need to bend your knees a little, that’s OK).
- Hold for 30 seconds.
- Switch feet. Repeat two to three times.
- Gradually increase the height of the book by 1-inch increments per week to a maximum of 3 inches.