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High Heels and Your Spine

Author: Atlas Total Health

Many women choose to wear high heels on occasion, whether casually, for the workplace, or for a special event. Although comfort is typically not a deciding factor in choosing to wear high heels, many women find that wearing heels may aid in enhancing their outfits or boosting their confidence. Yet, frequent wearing of high heels can lead to low back pain, neck pain, muscle pain, and overall muscle tightness. According to the Spine Health Institute, 72% of women will wear high heels in their lifetime. High heels, although a familiar and loved choice of footwear for many women, may lead to long-term health effects on both the spine and foot. Unfortunately, nearly a third of women who regularly wear high heels will suffer from some form of permanent damage, according to the American Osteopathic Association.

If you are suffering from back, neck, joint, or other pain associated with wearing high heels, read below for some tips to reduce your pain. Contact Atlas Total Health Chiropractic at (866) 668-0108 or online to schedule your consultation today. Chiropractic treatment can help to realign your spine, resolve postural issues, and reduce pain associated with wearing high heels.

High Heels Effect on Spine

When wearing high heels, the plantar fascia ligaments, calf muscles, hamstrings, and lower pelvis and back muscles will be tightened, placing a strain on the lower back that may lead to pain and stiffness. While wearing high heels, your center of gravity and body weight will be shifted, forcing the body to compensate by arching the body back to maintain balance. As a result, you can easily throw your spine out of alignment when your hips, shoulders, and spine are hunched forward. In addition, high heels often lead to the displacement of the cervical and thoracic regions of the spine, which may lead to posture issues. When it comes to high heels and their effect on the spine, specifically, it was found that wearing high heels:

  • Taxes erector spinae muscles leading to lower back pain
  • Lower back pain may be additionally caused by increased lumbar lordosis.
  • Causes cervical paraspinal muscle activity to skyrocket, especially in 45-55-year-olds, leading to chronic muscle fatigue of the spine.
  • Walking in high heels challenges the nervous system.
  • The neck, spine, and lower back can be injured from overuse of muscles leading to poor posture, which may cause spondylolisthesis.
  • An increased lordotic curve can cause hip and knee pain and foot and ankle issues.

Although most chiropractors would not recommend wearing high heels, as many people love and enjoy wearing them, it is best to understand the risks of wearing high heels and keep wearing them to a minimum.

High Heels and Your Spine and Neck Pain

To reduce pain associated with high heel wearing, consider the following tips:

  • Avoid wearing high heels daily, as this stresses the body significantly.
  • Opt to select a shoe with a rounded toe rather than a pointed one.
  • Ensure that the shoe is not too small. If in doubt, select the next size up rather than trying to squeeze your foot into an improperly fitted shoe.
  • Opt for platform shoes, wedges, or block heels over stilettos or pumps.
  • Opt for shorter heel sizes. The Daily Mail reports that high heels with a 3″ heel places 76% more pressure on the foot than a 2″ heel.

Taking these tips into consideration may help reduce pain and posture issues related to wearing heels, as it is unrealistic to expect individuals to stop wearing them altogether to prevent potential long-term health issues. If you are experiencing chronic low back pain, call Atlas Total Health Chiropractic to schedule your consultation to discover what we can do to bring you back to optimal health.

High Heels and Your Spine Chiropractic

Maintaining good health and looking after your body is often a combination of multiple factors and efforts, including proper nutrition, exercise, preventative care, and appropriate corrective care. The small choices you make daily can lead to profound changes and impacts in the long run, which can be either positive or undesired. If you have questions about your joint or spinal health, do not hesitate to contact Atlas Total Health Chiropractic. We are here to help! Below find some additional tips you may follow to prevent pain associated with wearing high heels.

  • Regularly stretch your hip flexors. Try the following exercise: Kneel on one knee on the ground with the foot of the extended leg slightly forward of the knee. Then move your hips slowly forward, so your knee is over your foot. You should feel a gentle stretch in the hip of the kneeling leg. Hold 20-30 seconds, switch, and complete twice on each side.
  • Tighten your core muscles. Strong abdominal muscles will help maintain good posture and relieve stress from the back. Yoga and Pilates are excellent choices for maintaining a solid core.
  • Receive regular chiropractic treatments. At Atlas Total Health Chiropractic, our specialized team can realign a spine that has been pulled out of alignment by high heels and suggest additional exercises to strengthen weak muscles.

If you are a regular wearer of high heels, we are not saying you should give up wearing high heels altogether. However, it is suggested that you give your body a break by changing your footwear from time to time and ensure that your posture, spine, and muscles are adequately supported to prevent issues from occurring later down the line.

However, if you are experiencing back, neck, or joint pain related to wearing high heels, contact Atlas Total Health Chiropractic today by calling (866) 668-0108 or contacting us online. Chiropractic treatment aims to realign your body’s joints to maintain an ideal posture and relieve any related pain or discomfort. If your body is out of alignment, other parts of your body must adapt to counteract the misalignment, which may lead to pain. Chiropractic treatment can help to realign your spine, resolve postural issues, and reduce pain. To look better, feel better, and move better, contact Atlas Total Health Chiropractic today.

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Category: Atlas Total Health Articles
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