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A chiropractor’s blog about healthful living and conquering pain

How Wearing High Heels Cause You Pain

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“Wow! Look at those killer heels!,” I often tell my female clients. “Those shoes give me job security!”  Of course my comments are often met with  a smile and wave of the hand, a chagrin, or a half smile as they wince their way past the entrance door to the waiting room.  

How Wearing High Heels Causes Pain

Effects of High Heels on the Body- Infographic

According to NBC News correspondent, Dr. Natalie Azar, “Wearing high heels are the most common causes of foot pain among women.” Chiropractors agree and here are the following reasons:

  1. Pain and Muscle Spasms

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As you gain height by wearing high heels, at the same time, blood circulation is restricted in your lower limbs. This can lead to muscle spasms in the calves and can also shorten and stiffen the Achilles tendon. Blood restriction in your lower limbs may also lead to spider veins. A study from Stanford University found that 3 ½ inches heels or higher more increases stress in the knees and leads to osteoarthritis.

2. Lower Back Pain

Wearing heels  causes your body to seek out balance. To do this,your spine needs to sway unnaturally which adds stress to the muscles in your spine. This results in a sore lower back.

Health Tips for Wearing High Heels

I must admit that high heels look attractive on women. If you’re a woman who feel that you can’t live without them, here are three helpful tips to ensure that you still maintain overall foot and spinal health:

1. Decrease the number of days you wear heels: Change into flats or walking shoes at work and at home.

2. Wear sensible shoes: Look for a platform sole so your weight can be distributed evenly across the entire foot. Avoid narrow toe boxes that squeeze toes.  Wear shoes that fit snugly and hold the foot firmly in place.

3. Stretch and Exercise: Spend a few minutes stretching your quads, calves and hip flexors. Watch this informative video!   Exercises for Wearing Heels

Above all,  when it comes to fashion and doing your everyday tasks, it is important to remember the following words:


Yours in good health,

– Dr. Michael Howell, DC

Michael Howell