How High Heels Cause Ankle Pain?

Editor's Note: This article has been recently updated with latest information and research studies.
 

According to a study, 60 percent of women reported wearing “poor” shoes in the past like high heels. This is why physicists devised a formula for the highest heels that a person should wear. This is based on a number of factors like the quality of footwear, the years of experience the wearer has with high heels and amount of alcohol consumption. Always select heels that put your foot at the most natural angle.

  • Hips and Spine: The normal S-shape of the spine acts as a shock absorber. Wearing heels alters body posture by changing joint positions at the knee, ankle, hip and trunk. This generates a force while travels to your lower back and hits your spine. This leads to problems like muscle cramps and fatigue. As Socrates said, “When your feet hurt, you hurt all over.”
  • Joint Degeneration and Knee Osteoarthritis: Wearing heels alters your body’s biomechanics and makes it prone to injury. Knee osteoarthritis is twice as common in women. The higher your heels, the more stress is generated on the inside of your legs. While walking, your feet bear one and half times your body weight. Wearing a 3 1/4 inch heel increases* the pressure on the bottom of the forefoot by 76%. This loading increases* with every step and is redistributed up your leg causing chronic joint injury and knee osteoarthritis.
  • Shortened Calf Muscles: When you walk, high heels make you adopt a posture to balance your body’s weight that leaves the leg in a visibly shortened or bent position. A British study revealed that women who wore high heels five times a week for two years suffered a 13% shortening of calf muscles. This permanent reshaping of the calf muscles and tendons is why women who regularly wear heels for over 20 years feel uncomfortable while wearing flats.
  • High Heels and Ankle Pain: Every time you put on a pair of your high heels, there is a possibility of ankle sprain waiting to happen. In fact, 64% of women reported hind-foot pain has been linked to wearing heels. Studies showed that high heel wearers had substantially stiffer and thicker Achilles tendons than those of women who wore flats.
  • Ingrown Toenails: According to podiatrists, wearing high heels are the most common cause of an ingrown toenail. Research has shown that high heeled shoes concentrate pressure on the toes leading to this painful condition.
How High Heels Cause Ankle Pain?

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Author

Expert Author : Beth Solomon (Consumer Health Digest)

Beth Solomon has been writing articles on health for more than two years with a concentration on pain management and men’s and women’s health and fitness. She has been a contributing editor to Consumer Health Digest since 2013.