Are your high heels playing havoc with your health?

Publish Date
Tuesday, 18 April 2017, 7:48AM
Photo / Getty Images

Photo / Getty Images

They make legs appear more elongated and give shorter ladies some extra height, but wearing high heels on a daily basis could be playing havoc with your health.

According to Stuart Metcalfe, a consultant paediatric surgeon at Spire Parkway Hospital in Solihull, wearing stilettos can lead to daily ailments such as back pain and even ankle sprains, reports the Daily Mail.

Here, he shares what really happens to your body when you wear heels - and it might just put you off wearing stilettos again.

Back pain

When you wear high heels the body has to compensate to maintain balance as the weight is shifted forwards.

This "off-balance" position results in a shift of pressure and causes the hip joints and spine to flex abnormally. The muscles around these joints become tenser to support the out of alignment joints. As a result, you can develop back pain and muscle strain.

Shortened Achilles tendons

A serious long-term effect of wearing high heels on a regular basis is shortening of the Achilles tendon.

With the heel raised up the Achilles tendon actually physiologically shortens, a permanent change that can have other serious consequences.

This can mean that when you want to walk barefoot or wear flats, the Achilles tendon is too tight and you may experience pain in your feet and legs.

Photo / Getty Images

Forefoot pain

High heels push the weight of your body forwards. Research has shown that the amount of extra pressure on the ball of the feet is related to the heel height.

Over time, this abnormal pressure over the ball of the foot can result in painful conditions such as calluses, neuromas and bursitis.

Ankle sprains

When you wear flats, your weight is spread evenly between the ball of your foot and the heel, with little pressure on your ankle.

Unfortunately, heels cause such an imbalance between the heel and the ball that the ankle is forced to become the fulcrum for your entire body.

And, since ankles aren't built to take that kind of pressure, falls and twisted or sprained ankles can be pretty common.

It's nearly impossible to perfectly balance, especially in very high heels, so any bump in the pavement can feel like a 3m wall when you're trying to scale it in your favourite pump.

Ingrown nails

The majority of high heels have quite a pointed toe shape, but the majority of people's feet are more square.

Add to this the fact the heels force your feet forwards, and it's easy to see how the toes become squeezed.

This constant pressure can cause the nails to become ingrown as the nail edge is pushed into the flesh around the toes.

This article was first published on Daily Mail and is republished here with permission.