The High Heels Controversy: Do they Really Cause Low Back Pain?
Posted Oct 16 2008 7:58pm
Personally, I love to wear heels- they make you look and feel taller, elongating your body, making your feet look very pretty. In fact I would love to own a pair of Christian Louboutin
If you are working in construction, nursing, or in a factory job you can get away with wearing comfortable sneakers or shoes that provide good support for your foot. But having an office job means that every once in a while, or maybe more often depending on your style, you will wear high heels. Even if your occupation does not require it, it is nice to wear high heels for a dinner or special occasion.
With all the running around that the job candidates did on The Apprentice this season, many of the woman wore heels - And some of them suffered. Claire Young, a 29 year old, 5 ft 6 business woman wore her fashion heels on every episode. Her heels measured 5 inches. According to Claire wearing heels increased her confidence level by giving her more height, and slimming down her body. Well it also increased something else: Her low back pain. On the day that the final Apprentice Episode aired, Claire was in bed with severe lower back pain, not able to move.
This morning I was watching a segment on The Today Show where they were talking about heels getting even higher- I mean like 7- 9 inches…Can you imagine that? Even models who have been wearing heels on the runway looked like they were having a difficult time walking and standing.
Truth be told, wearing heels is not the best thing for your health, particularly your lower back. Especially if you wear heels everyday, many hours a day. Wearing heels tilts the pelvis and upsets the natural s shape of your spine, creating more stress for the nerves of the lumbar spine. It can cause low back pain, knee pain, and foot pain. You can develop trouble walking, sprains, strains and conditions of the knee and ankle. Wearing heels also changes the way the muscles of the pelvis, legs, and ankle contract. Imagine walking on tipping toes all day long- how would that feel after 8 hours? Not the best. Well that’s exactly what wearing heels does to you- it changes the biomechanics of your gait (how you walk)- which then affects the alignment of your pelvis, your hips, your knees and your ankles. It’s hard to stabilize yourself wearing long heels – this can cause more falls and sprains and strains of the ankle. Finally, often times high heels squish your foot together, causing further misalignment (and Pain) to the individual bones of the foot.
For lower back pain relief from wearing heels, it helps to use a support at night while sleeping. A simple Knee Elevator placed under the knees at night can help take the pressure off the nerves of the lower back.
So how can we woman who love our heels still wear them and not suffer from the many conditions that I have painfully listed above? Wear them for shorter periods of time. You also don’t have to wear 5 inch heels- how about 2 or 3 inch heels?
So even if I do get my Christian Louboutin’s some day, I imagine that I will wear my heels on my special occasions and feel good at the same time !! – Imagine That ! - NJ