From The Straits Times    |

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Lacing up a pair of sexy heels makes you feel empowered and ready to take on the world. You’re rocking out to the perfect rhythm in your head as you strut past other office-goers on the way to work. Not to mention, you simply love how long your legs look in those nude pumps.

The dagger-like pain that cuts through your feet seems like a minor inconvenience for those who believe that there’s no beauty without pain. But what if this daily pain is putting your health at risk? If high heels are your choice of footwear, read on to find out how this innocent act might be harming you.


1. It puts extra pressure on your joints

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Securing your feet into a pair of heels means that they are bound in a rigid position throughout the day. The natural alignment of your feet is thrown out of balance as they take on an angled position in high heels. When you stand in a pair of heels, your body weight is channelled to the ball of your feet, and the tip of the heel. This means that as you click your way around town, the pressure from every step creates an impact on your heel, ankles, knees and even hips. The uneven pressure of your steps is conveyed to your joints, which eventually leads to stiff and painful joints.


2. Your lower back will hurt

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Opting for heels adds a certain amount of pizazz to your outfit, so it only makes sense if you stand tall and glamorous in them! After all, nobody slouches when they wear heels. But beware: As you stand tall, there is a chance you’re overarching your back, which hurts your spine if you do it for a prolonged period. Moreover, walking or standing in heels causes your pelvic bone to jut either forward or backwards. The arch in your back, coupled with a tensed pelvic bone, might spell trouble for your spine as it puts a tremendous amount of pressure on your back.


3. You don’t walk around as much


High heels definitely make your poor feet hurt like crazy. But you can always sink into the nearest seat and press pause on the pain for a while, before you have to start clicking around the office again. Unfortunately, because heels cause major discomfort, you begin craving that sweet feeling of relief again, and again. So chances are, walking goes to the bottom of your priority list. It does not mean well for your health when you prioritise a curvy figure over hitting your daily step goal.


4. Muscle cramps

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Standing in high heels means that your calf muscles have to work hard (read: strain) to accommodate the position of your feet. By the end of the day, your calf and ankle muscles will be pretty sore, so you can expect to feel stiff and achy in those areas. Imagine the damage done when you wear high heels on consecutive days without giving your legs a break! (Foot massages can only do so much to relieve the accumulated tension.)


What to do instead

Limit the number of days you wear high heels in a week. After a day of wearing heels, be sure to stretch your back, calf and feet muscles to reduce stiffness. Also, consider storing a pair of heels at your workplace so you can wear flats to the office and switch to those heels during important meetings or presentations.


This article was first published on Shape