Most medical professionals will agree that wearing your favorite pair of heels is not good for the health of your joints in your legs or low back. Wearing heels changes your posture causing increased pressure on your joints leading to injuries to your feet, knees, and low back pain. As a medical professional, I try not to be a hypocrite when giving advice to my patients. It’s not fair for me to tell a patient to avoid wearing heels, when I spend hours a week in them myself. As an avid ballroom dancer, I am not willing to give up dancing and I have accepted that wearing heels is part of my life as well as the lives of many of my patients and friends. The negative effects of wearing heels can be counteracted by following the simple steps below.
If you are experiencing acute pain and swelling, then avoiding heels is a necessary step to allow your injury to heal. Contact your local physical therapist to create a plan of action to help you quickly return to dancing the night away in your favorite pair of heels.
Wearing heels frequently leads to increased tension in your calf and foot muscles due to increased muscular activity required while walking or dancing to maintain your balance. Using massage balls, such as Yoga Tune Up Therapy Balls®, or even a lacrosse ball to massage the muscles in your foot and calf will ease the muscular tension and decrease pain.
Wearing heels leads to a shortening of the calf muscles and Achilles tendon. As these muscles shorten, they create a chain reaction of forces that pull on your heel where they attach leading to foot and heel pain. There are 2 main calf muscles that must be stretched.
Hold each stretch 30 sec and repeat 3 x on each leg.