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In the last decade, high-heeled shoes have become one of the most popular fashion items with one in ten women wearing high heels at least three times a week, with an average height of 3.3 inches - that’s the highest in Europe.
But wearing them for long periods can do serious damage to your feet and back, so it pays to swap them for flats as often as you can.
High-heeled shoes are great to wear on a night out or a special occasion, but walking around in them every day at work can put pressure on the nerves in your spine.
“High heels make you raise your heel and as soon as you do that, your centre of gravity is pushed forward. You then bend your lower back to compensate for this and that changes the position of your spine, putting pressure on the nerves in your back” says Mike O’Neill, spokesman for the Society of Chiropodists and Podiatrists
Follow our guide to good heel health and you could save yourself some painful problems down the line.
Because high heels position your feet at an unnatural angle and don’t have any cushioning, the impact moves right into your spine every time you take a step. Over time, this can lead not only to pain and discomfort in your back muscles but also put extra strain on your joints and result in disc problems. The less you wear your high heels, the less risk of injury, so try to limit how often you use them.
High heels make you more unstable, so the muscles in your leg and back have to do more work to help you keep your balance, which can also lead to back pain. To prevent this, look for shoes with a cup around the heel and decent straps to provide more stability.
Shoes with cushioning help to absorb the impact of walking. Think about switching to shoes with a lower heel but which also provide some cushioning protection for your feet.
Don’t wear your high heels to work every day or while doing any strenuous tasks. Any added strain will only increase the impact on your legs and back.
You don’t have to throw away all your fashion statement heels. It is OK to wear them sometimes – just make it more occasional than every day.
Source: Vogue, Backcare
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