High Heels and Your Feet: What Every Woman Needs to Know
While it is true that high heels can make a woman’s legs look amazing, Mother Nature never intended a woman’s five toes to be wedged into the teeny-tiny front end of even the most fashionable pair of heels. Furthermore, once she has successfully wedged her toes into the front of this elegant shoe, the remainder of her foot is bent at a 45-degree angle (or more) and then shoved into its own very thin space. This puts additional pressure on her overly-crowded toes as well as on the ball of her foot. Women who wear heels regularly are probably doing one of the worst things they ever could to their poor, helpless feet.
The Unpleasant Results of High Heel Use
The use of high heels can cause a woman to develop bunions, callouses, corns and a condition that everyone dreads, hammertoe. While these are all unsightly and can cause pain, there are other very painful issues that frequently result from repeated high heal wear. These painful issues include shooting pains through the spine and the foot (i.e., pinched nerves), chronic tendonitis and stress fractures.
Ideally, Dr. Jeffery LaMour prefers that his patients switch to wearing shoes that are less harmful to their feet; however, he knows that this is not an option for some women. Therefore, he recommends that these women use the exercises below to try to counteract the negative effects of wearing high heels on a regular basis.
Exercises to Help Counteract Negative Effects of High Heel Use
The Intrinsic Muscle Stretch — Helps to Prevent Bunions, Hammer Toes, Stress Fractures, and Pinched Nerves
- Using the hand opposite of the foot you are stretching, place fingers 2 through 5 between your toes. Your thumb should be held outward. Hold this for 30 seconds. While holding this position, the muscles between the metatarsals (long bones) of your foot are being stretched.
- Now, push the toes downward. Hold this position for 5 seconds. This stretches the top of the foot, including the toes.
Repeat both parts of this exercise 10 times on each of the days that you wear high heels.
Stretching the Foot/Ankle Extensors — Helps Prevent Stress Fractures of the Shin Bones and Feet
While in the kneeling position, take a rolled-up hand towel and place it under your feet. The towel should be placed just beneath the area where your toes and the rest of your foot meet. Gently place your hips on your heels, almost as if you are sitting. You should only place enough pressure on your heels to feel a pulling sensation across the top of your ankles and feet. You may also notice a stretching sensation up the front of your shins. Hold this position for 30 seconds.
Repeat this stretch twice on each of the days that you wear high heels.