Just how detrimental is the extended use of high heels to women’s bodies? Interestingly enough, not a single piece of men’s clothing poses a similar risk to men’s health.
But just because something is bad for women doesn’t mean that women will stop wearing it. High heels are one easy way of fitting a certain aesthetic concept of what a professional woman should look like. But where do we draw the line, with fashion?
The altered posture of walking in high heels places excess force on the inside of the knee—a common site of osteoarthritis among women. One study found that knee joint pressure increased by as much as 26 percent when a woman wears heels.
Calf muscles contract and adjust to the angle of the high heels. Muscles may shorten and tighten.
Heel height and a narrow toebox can create a thickening of tissue around a nerve between the third and fourth toes, which can lead to pain and numbness in the toes.
High heels push the center of mass in the body forward, taking the hips and spine out of alignment.
High heels may make legs look longer, but as the heel height goes up, so does the pressure on the forefoot.
When the front of the foot moves down in relation to the heel, the Achilles tendon tightens up.
Tight-fitting shoes cause a bony growth on the joint at the base of the big toe, which forces the big toe to angle in towards the other toes.
The rigid backs or straps of high heels can irritate the heel, creating a bony enlargement also known as Haglund’s deformity.
High heels impair balance; a wearer is at a greater risk of falling, which could lead to a sprained or broken ankle.
High heels force the body’s weight to be redistributed. Prolonged wear can lead to joint pain in the ball of the foot.
A narrow toebox pushes the smaller toes into a bent position at the middle joint. Eventually, the muscles in the second, third and forth toes become unable to straighten, even when there is no confining shoe.
This article is reprinted from WomenCo.