With the onset of a new school year and with children going back to school there are a lot of teachers going to choose new footwear. It’s fun to hunt for that pair of shoes that reflects our personality and shows our individuality. But, I thought it might be prudent to talk about some of the different issues that come from wearing high heels specifically. There are actually three types when we talk about them. A high heel, mid heel and low heel. They were developed for different reasons, but I will limit this to the effects from all of them over time.
Some of the effects from wearing them long term will be changing your posture, increasing your chances of ankle injuries, and increasing pressure in many different areas, not just the legs and calves. The neck and low back also are effected. This can and will result in changes to the body’s ability to function, as well as a foot deformity in some cases. See the attached diagram. And this diagram illustrates local interferences in the legs and feet. Imagine how your neck and shoulders have to react in order to compensate for the changes in the lower back and hips. Our skeletons are meant to support us within gravity. Why push them outside those parameters?
All of these changes stem from one major issue. Your nervous system’s ability to heal and repair on a daily basis. Wearing them for long periods will decrease your ability to accomplish this, every day. The changes the wearer puts themselves through is like carrying an extra 15 pound weight on their shoulders every day and not noticing it. It’s a cumulative effect that gets compounded within the body and the nervous system.
Some practice members may remember how far forward their spines were in gravity, starting the process of collapse, when they first started with our office. Wearing heels is one of the ways the body reinforces its inability to heal and repair. It pitches the person farther forward by forcing the center of you, farther forward. This is why we do not recommend wearing heels every day. If you have to wear heels, try a smaller height heel. It is a step in the right direction.