Many women wear High heels on a daily basis while going to work. While these kinds of shoes can complement your formal work attire very well, they can also lead to a myriad of bone and muscle problems in the body. Research has it that more and more women under the age of 40 years have been facing problems like osteoarthritis, and this has been directly linked to how often they wear heels.
Wearing high heels leads to an extremely unequal distribution of weight on the feet. Due to the shape and structure of such footwear, women wearing heels expose their knees and toes to more pressure than they are structurally able to handle. This is why many people experience pain in their feet when they wear heels for too long. Heels also result in high pressure on the calf muscles, which also contributes to pain and other conditions in the feet. Often, pointy heels also lead to the scrunching up of toes, which can be very detrimental to bone health in the long run.
These X-Ray pictures show how you exert great pressure on the bones of your feet when you wear steep high heels. Wearing them too often can also increase your risk of pain, blisters, bone degeneration, and osteoarthritis.
What is Osteoarthritis?
Osteoarthritis is a highly common joint problem that is chronic in nature. Knee joints are covered in cartilage, which protects the joints from friction and consequential pain and inflammation. However, when you wear heels too often, the pressure on the knees leads to the degeneration of the cartilage. Ultimately, this leads to the joints rubbing together, which causes swelling, stiffness, regular knee pain and inflammation. This condition is degenerative in nature and is one of the leading causes of disabilities today.
What Happens When Osteoarthritis Becomes Severe?
Severe osteoarthritis symptoms can lead to many health complications that can impact the lifestyle of the patient. Some of these include:
- Increased pain and swelling: This happens due to high amounts of synovial fluid in the knee joint. Broken pieces of knee cartilage may also float in this fluid, which increases the pain and swelling even further.
- Increased pain: During the early stages of this condition, patients may feel pain during specific activities like climbing stairs or walking. However, as the condition progresses, the pain becomes a constant part of life, with patients experiencing it even when they rest.
- Decreased motion: This condition causes the knee joint to become stiffer, due which patients may not be able to enjoy the activities that they once did.
- Instability in Joints: Severe OA can lead to major instability in the joints. Patients can experience locked knees or even the knees ‘giving out’ while they walk.
- Severe OA can also cause joint deformities to develop over time. It can also lead to other knee conditions like bursitis.
Other Conditions Caused Due to Wearing Heels:
The joints in your knees or foot can become arthritic if you wear high heels too much. The reason is that while standing or walking, the pressure and imbalance caused by the heels can make the cartilage in your knee and foot joints to wear down over time.
Wearing heels can cause arthritis
When we think about wearing heels, we think about aching feet and blisters, but ladies, have you thought about what bearing the burden of beautiful shoes does to your knees? A Harvard study found that wearing two-inch heels places 23 % more strain on the inner knee than wearing flats. This strain pushes the knee forward to accommodate the pressure needed to keep women balanced when they walk or stand. This research suggests that wearing heels contributes at least partially to the fact that women are twice as likely as men to develop osteoarthritis in their knees. Aside from the fact that this finding points to a troubling implication about the stress that beauty standards put on women’s bodies, the price of a pair of stilettos doesn’t seem worth the price of knee surgery does it?
- Damage to the muscles: Wearing heels can also damage the Achilles tendon, and lead to further damage of muscles in the foot as a consequence. This occurs because the foot is positioned in an unnatural, upward stance which leads to a lot of strain on the muscles.
- Lower back damage: Wearing heels leads to a posture that puts strain on the lower back muscles. The constant strain can lead to chronic back pain with time.
- Read Also: Dangers Of High Heels Shoes (Video)
- Damage to the sciatic nerve: Chronic pressure on the lower back can damage the sciatic nerve, which ultimately leads to leg pain that does not go away.
- Neck pressure: When you wear heels, the overarched posture of the back can lead to the head and neck tilting forward. This can put a lot of pressure on the neck and lead to neck pain.
Though it may seem strange to lock away your heels, you will soon get more accustomed to the comfort of flats. Remember to buy shoes that fit properly as an improper fit can also lead to muscle issues and pain. Make sure that your footwear is made of sturdy soles that protect the feet, rather than thin soles.
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